There's all kids of excitement near the Tree Swallow box this morning! When I got up (in my usual non-alert state) I noticed something odd on the front lawn. After I got the binoculars I saw that it was a Red-tailed Hawk enjoying breakfast (a bunny) about 20 yards from the Tree Swallow box. The Crows and Tree Swallows were dive bombing the Hawk. By the time I got my camera the Hawk was flying off. Then I went to exercise and when I came back the cleaning crew had arrived. The Turkey Vultures are still at work cleaning up the Hawk's mess. I've been watching them for a while and that's how I determined that the prey was a rabbit. In this photo you can see a male on display. Shortly after I put the camera down there was a nice little tiff and one of the males flew off. You can see the Tree Swallow box at the right of the photo so I can imagine how terrified the Tree Swallows were to have the Hawk nearby.
I know that Turkey Vultures are gross looking creatures but I adore them. They are nature's vacuum cleaners and, because of them, we never have to clean up messes left by other animals. As I write and watch there are 3 males having a stand off. That rabbit must have some special sauce on it to attract such attention!