Red in Tooth and Claw and Tail

As I was leaving the student center, a big ol red-tailed hawk flew past the door. It wasn’t but four feet from the ground, and it had a pigeon in its talons. I followed it across the street, where it perched in a tree with a single leg holding down the pigeon, which was still flapping its wings. I was so close and had such an awesome view! The neighborhood mockingbirds were not happy to see it there – they perched at a safe remove of five feet or so, screamed at it, and made occasional sallies to peck at its tailfeathers. The hawk, unperturbed, continued to hold down the pigeon and look commandingly about. An MIT kid came up, complete with sheet of paper scrawled with circuit diagrams…

Kid: Is that hawk killing that bird?
Desi: Yeah, and those mockingbirds are pissed at it.
K: Why would it kill a nice bird like that?
D: (jovially, not 100% sure Kid’s joking) Hunger, I reckon.
K: One of those things went after an airplane of ours last week.
D: Oh, like a model?
K: Yeah, it was this autonomous thing we built.


Eventually the hawk got tired (I assume) of the mockingbirds, and flew on down the street, pigeon now barely flapping at all.

7 Responses to “Red in Tooth and Claw and Tail”

  1. Ezra Cooper Says:

    It didn’t finish eating the pigeon?

  2. desultor Says:

    Not there! But it took the pigeon with it, and I imagine it got eaten eventually.

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