Saturday, August 02, 2008

Latest customer at the Scholz Spa

A Hawk.
Originally uploaded by carly scholz
So, this afternoon we were visited by a hawk of some kind. It sort of sat in this dry patch on the edge of our lawn. While this bit of behavior might seem a little odd (maybe it just ate a squirrel or something) it is but one piece of a larger more bizarre set of animal visitations.
That spot is a favorite hang out of the cardinals, robins and finches, who behave exactly the same. They sit there with wings extended for several minutes.
I've also seen our little wild rabbit roll around on the earth there.
A squirrel did the same thing on a similar patch on the other side of the yard.

Is there a zoologist in the blogosphere?

My theory: I saw a special on some (african I think) ants that would spray acid at threats. Birds (and lizards I think) would harass these little ants to incite them to spray them with the acid that would allegedly kill (or otherwise offer relief from) tiny mites or ticks or something.
Now, I don't think we have acid spewing ants, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if the dirt was very acidic. Would having a dirt bath there have a similar effect? Anyone?


At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have alerted the ornithological authorities, and perhaps they'll get back to you, or moi about it.


At 12:26 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

I can't tell what kind of hawk it is, though it looks too small to be a red-tail or similar buteo. Which means its probably one of the various accipters which I can't tell apart.

Actually, "anting" is a fairly common bird behavior around the world, and most ants can and do spray a bit a formic acid as a defense, so it could well be that your local birds have found a good ant site. Have you been able to tell whether there seems to be a hill nearby?

ps - you have a Flickr account!

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Scholz said...

A friend says it is a Broad Winged Hawk. I haven't really investigated the area. It is too darned hot. But I suppose I will now.

At 8:17 PM, Blogger Scholz said...

Checked for ants. I saw a handful, no obvious nest or hill. And since I was ostensibly looking for acid spitting ants, I didn't exactly dig around. Still, one would think, it would be more obvious.
(By contrast I think my Spring poisoning did get rid of the fire ants in the front yard).


Post a Comment

<< Home