A Killing at the Party

This afternoon, some of our family members and close relatives gathered for lunch at the Sandy Lake cottage.  Since it was a beautiful day with partly cloudy skies and mild conditions, we chose to party on the deck which offers a broad view of the lake.

Soon after completing our meal (though not our drinks!) our attention was drawn to the beach by loud shrieking and a frantic flock of purple martins exploded from their apartment complex.  A Cooper's hawk had streaked in at low altitude, grabbing one of the occupants as it strafed the dwelling's roof.  Zooming off with the victim in his talons, the raptor was pursued by other martins until it disappeared into a nearby woodland.

Many present were disturbed by the event, the life of a beloved songbird extinguished by a much larger and more powerful creature.  Ironically, most of them had just consumed a chicken sandwich but we humans are reluctant to think of ourselves as predators.