a hawk and a dead rat

I parked and there across the street on a white SUV was a hawk. Amazing! I had no camera, so I took our my phone, not the best telephoto, but … Figured I could get in the house and grab my camera. Before going in, I looked at the raptor and realized it held a dead rat in its talons.

By the time I got back out with camera in hand, something had scared it and it was flying, low to the ground, weighted down by a wet dead rat. It lighted onto the street sign and I ran up, in the rain, and started shooting. Palo Alto is half-a-block up from me and the white background is the corner house on Taylor and Palo Alto.

The image is amazingly incongruous – a raptor with its prey, perfectly perched on a blue Pittsburgh street-sign and photographed with a high-end camera using a Japanese telephoto lens.

Yeah, one wants to ask, What the hell is a hawk doing in a residential area? but then one is happy to see it killed a rat, so maybe the question of a raptor on a street with families with children is less important. (Too bad it wasn’t a pigeon in its claw. Oh come on, pigeons are just the rats of the air.)