It was a beautiful Scottsdale morning, mid-60s, partly cloudy, light breeze. Kathryn and I had just finished a run (at 60, just bending over to tie my sneakers is an accomplishment), put together cereal for breakfast, and decided to eat outside on our front patio. It was such a peaceful scene; we could never have expected what was to come.

Out of nowhere a bunny bounded at full speed through my legs, hopping higher and higher as he (I am using “he” as a female would never be so reckless) made his way through our front yard toward the street. Traffic was heavy this morning, it had been 30 minutes since we had last seen a car. Both bunny and car looked to be converging. At the same instant we began to cringe as we watched this bunny bound toward its fate. What raced through my mind at that instant was not the death of this poor bunny, but how far he would travel when meeting a one-ton car driving at 25 mph. 30 feet.

With breakfast interrupted, stomach slightly nauseated, we lamented the fate of the poor bunny. Why was he racing? It might have been a coyote looking for his breakfast. I looked around the house, there was no coyote. Regardless, the bunny was dead, laying on the side of the street. The next question was which one of us was going to clear the street of his body? I knew I wasn’t doing it. No way. My mom and dad brought be up right. So the question then became, could I convince Kathryn to do it? I pondered my lack of manhood (thanks mom and dad) when my saviors appeared.

It wasn’t Darryl or his other brother Darryl*, my saviors turned out to be the neighborhood hawks. The hawks are not the neighborhood gang of  teenage punks but six Harris’s hawks who patrol the area looking for food anyway they can get it. Three alit on the tree on the side of the road, one across the street and one a few trees down. They all eyed breakfast.

“Breakfast is a bit late this morning, but it looks like the chef conjured up a delicacy,” could easily be heard.

My presence did not deter these two gang members as they kept a close eye on the dead bunny. I know the one on top was thinking, ragout de lapin.

I grabbed my camera and headed out to the body. All five hawks eyed me but would not grab the body. I waited a bit until one of them showed some bravado and worked his way down the tree trunk

If only this hawk was an eagle. It would have been a great shot with the flag in the background.

A couple of moments later one took off, heading right at me. Hunger had taken over his mind. I turned and ran (thanks again, mom and dad). As it turned out the hawk was not interested in attacking me, just shooing me away. When I turned back to look, the body was gone and all five hawks were in retreat, getting ready for their scrumptious breakfast. If only I could have held my nerve, I would have photographed a hawk grabbing the bunny with its talons.

What would you do if one of these hawks came after you?

High-tailing it away. On a side note, notice the separation of the wings from the flag, tree, and fence. Solid photography. Just saying.

Ah well, just another morning in sunny Scottsdale.

Note (*): I feel compelled to reveal this reference to the popular TV series of the 80s, “Newhart”.