Sooooo . . . . I pull up to the front of Schloß Red this fine morning and hear a cacophony of bluejays shrieking at something from the largest tree on this part of the block. There is a large bird standing at the bast of the tree. A very large bird with pale blue-gray feathers and a large, sharp beak. He is busy devouring something with feathers, and after giving me the evil eye, keeps eating. I got near the front door (fifteen feet or so from him) before he picks his brunch up in his talons and flaps off. It seems a harrier (aka marsh hawk) had taken out either a starling or grackle.
Male harriers are blue-grey, while females are brown. You see them hovering, then stooping in the fields near town, chasing small rodents in the corn stalks and other trashy fallow, or in the growing wheat and pasture grass. This is the closest I’ve been to one that was not in an aviary. Beautiful bird, and larger than they look from the road.