Friday, December 5, 2014

Abandoned subdivision = Predator's paradise

As I drove down the two-lane on a back road in Clermont, a pair of red-tailed hawks caught my eye.  On my right was an abandoned housing development, a casualty of the building boom that went bust of a few years ago.  On my left was one of several utility poles adorned with fancy lights, an indication of a developer's plans gone awry.

Two red-tailed hawks scan their surroundings

The hawks, however, saw no misfortune.  Just the opposite.  To them the untimely demise of a subdivision was a predator's paradise.  Fewer homes meant more open space.  More open space meant more hunting opportunities.  Most likely rodents, songbirds, snakes and insects are living in the unkempt fields where houses were supposed to be built.

A light fixture and utility pole alongside a partially developed subdivision provides the perfect perch for predator birds

In addition to the pair of red-tails, an American kestrel was also taking advantage of the developers misfortune.

An American kestrel perched on a shrub in an unkempt field 

With all the destruction of habitat people do to the natural kingdom, it comforts me to know that at least in some circumstances, wildlife can thrive amid man's mistakes.  

Friend or foe?  Two red-tailed hawks take a break from hunting to check me out 

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