Although also a hawk, this is not what it looked like, but I can’t spend any more time looking for a picture of this damn bird.

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Sittin’ here looking out the window on this gloomy day, when I see this big-a**ed bird preening itself high in a tree. It’s got a rust-colored belly, and being an adult – convert – bird – nerd (thank you Tom, though it was probably in my blood already due to my dad), I run and grab my bino’s and bird-nerd book.

Sure enough, I think it’s s a Skinner’s Hawk, relatively common in woodland areas (which I would not consider my area at all, but maybe it’s lost). Never heard of it before but it fits the description and behavior, namely the following…

Oops — it’s not preening itself: It’s picking apart a dead bird. I couldn’t (mercifully) see much, except feathers floating down periodically.

I do not live in the woods for godsake. I live in a ‘burb right next to the City. It just boggles my mind how many bizarre animals, dead and alive, I see around here. Not to mention where I usually see them, which I won’t get into except to say they’re usually inside my house…

Other than my sister Sarah, who had a bat infestation in her attic (I had one in my bedroom which was enough for me to have to get rabies shots — we always try to outdo each other) and a rotted, maggot-infested raccoon (squirrel maybe?) fall out of her chimney flue into her house releasing millions of maggots,

I just don’t know anyone else who has had all of these bizarre animal sightings / infestations.

Oh wait, I just remembered Brett at work, who smelled found a dead shrek or a shrew or a something in his ?basement ?garage. I don’t remember which, since clearly I have enough of my own traumas to deal with.

I remember my parents having a bird or 2 come out of the chimney when I was a kid, but seriously, do other people have these problems on the scale I seem to have them?

Is this another taboo subject nobody mentions but everyone has?

I’m starting to (albeit paranoically if that’s a word) feel picked upon by the universe for having rescued my animals and for creating a garden and putting up birdhouses and feeders.

This is my reward for engendering nature and wildlife?!

Sounds to me like it’s yet another illustration of — cliché alert — no good deed going unpunished.

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