Seconds feel like minutes!
I decided to drive the long way through Allegany State Park to visit some friends camping over in the Quaker Area. Along ASP Rt. 1 I noticed a hawk coming out of the grass with something in its talons and moving directly towards my vehicle! My heart just stopped, I quickly spiked my breaks and hoped not to hear any thump like sound! While trying to look over the hood of my truck for the bird, I found myself thinking “what are my next steps are if I end up hitting the bird”?? Suddenly I see the hawk flying past my vehicle with me screaming, “YES!!!”.
Common Garter Snake half eaten
I don’t think that I will ever figure out what happened for those few seconds in front of my truck but the important fact is that this bird was flying up into the tree. I look in my rear view mirror and found this half eaten snake lying in the middle of the road. I pulled over and started photographing the Broad-winged Hawk perched up in the tree. While focusing my camera on the snake (for the perfect photo of the hawk taking the snake), I noticed it flying directly towards the snake and made an unsuccessful swoop. As it came around for a second swoop and the Broad-winged Hawk was then swooped upon by another hawk!!
I saw this Coopers Hawk and Broad-winged Hawk now fighting over this half eaten snake. After eyeing each other over . . . . the Broad-winged Hawk then chased the Coopers into the woods and I many times heard the two hawks vocalizing. I waited with my camera focused on the snake for about a half hour and then finally gave up waiting for the hawk to return. I decided to move the half eaten snake into the grass so the bird didn’t have any chance of being hit by another vehicle. The Broad-winged Hawk was still up in the tree (A good distance away) keeping an eye on the snake and I have to believe that it soon would be having a wonderful meal as soon as I disappear.
I ended up with a wonderful “bird adventure” to tell everyone around the Campfire once I finally made it to their camp site.