Was just walking past the back door when I saw a large "blonde" hawk-like bird land in the trees on the far side of the pond. I dug out the binoculars, Carolyn's "Hawks & Owls" book, and the camera. Unfortunately the camera doesn't have the resolving power/range of the binoculars, so these images don't do justice to what I saw. As you can tell even from these poor quality pictures (the later ones), the bluejays wanted this guy OUT of their woods!
Right after I took the last of these pictures, he flew straight down out of the tree into the leaf mulch behind the far pond bank, flapped his wings once or twice while down on the ground, flew back up to the trees with something reddish in his talons, adjusted himself (while avoiding bluejays), and took off with something trailing behind him. I don't know if it was maybe a cardinal (due to the reddish color), or if it would've been a more reddish-brown squirrel (I've seen one up close to the house), or something else. Looked too big to be a chipmunk.
Well, even though that's part of the cycle of life, seeing that's a bit of a downer!
A tasty, tasty downer, I'm sure!
Not quite certain what sort of bird it is. Best I can tell from the books, Google image searches and what it seems I've heard others seeing around here, it's probably a Cooper's Hawk. Ooooor maybe a sharp-shinned hawk? Only it doesn't look like many of the illustrations I've seen of those birds...more like some of the photos I've seen online, only more "blonde" (a juvenile?) and more plump (although that seems to have been because of the cold, rainy weather - once it was in flight, it looked more aerodynamic).
Wonder what I'll see tomorrow?!