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Location: Harns Marsh, Lehigh Acres

A quick lesson in testicular fortitude!

Words and pics by Mark Renz

Two sub-adult red-shouldered hawks are minding their own business, discussing lunch plans.

Suddenly, an adult white ibs lands on the same cypress tree, startling the hawks.
One flies off. The other can't believe his or good fortune to have lunch
delivered before it was even ordered!

"You lookin' at me?!" squawks the ibis.

On second thought, this won't look good if I fail, surmised the hawk.

And there's a smarmy-faced human brandishing a long-lens camera.
With my luck, the ibis will kick my hiney and it will go viral on Facebook...

But man, that ibis looks tasty...

Still, I'd best find an easier target.

"Yahoo!!!" (Ibis victory flap)

"Any more takers?"

Now before you lose all faith in the hawk and brand it a whimpy raptor,
minutes later the same bird makes a brazen attempt to challenge an adult bald eagle
perched on a pine! Is this the equivalent of we uprighters before our
frontal lobes are fully developed? The hawk's aggressive behavior was no match
for the larger, more powerful eagle which easily blocked it's charge.

The next morning, the hawks were terrorizing the marsh again.
This time one of them flew head-on into a pond of water fowl, all the while
being chased and harassed by a blackbird (above and left of the hawk). It appeared
as if the hawks were beginning to know and appreciate their limitations.
At least for today.