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Not much draft from a hawk

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Not much draft from a hawk

Old 06-26-20, 12:01 PM
  #1  
Oakman
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Not much draft from a hawk

On this morning's ride, over my left shoulder swoops a red-tailed hawk. He dropped down and leveled off directly in front of me, staying about 10 feet ahead for maybe 30 seconds. Then he quickly accelerates to a low hanging branch to perch and watch me pass below. I gave him a salute and I swear he expressed a kinda smile. Beautiful animal.

Got any bike/bird stories?
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Old 06-26-20, 12:42 PM
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Notso_fastLane
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I had a small sparrow bounce off my helmet once. I was going downhill, about 40 mph, and I think he just didn't realize how fast I was closing on him.
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Old 06-26-20, 12:54 PM
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Pop N Wood
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I used to ride every morning before dawn, a converted rail trail through the woods near my house. Was jamming along, half asleep, when I look up and see a great horned owl sitting on a waist high fence post in the middle of the trail. My headlight hits him at the exact instance we both notice each other, eye to eye, not 10 feet apart and closing fast. I'm not sure who was more startled at that point. I ducked my head but still got hit in the face by his wing as he took off.

I've seen large numbers of turkeys on this same trail but fortunately they don't appear to be very active at dawn.

Deer are another matter. If I ever die on a bike it will be in a collision with a deer or stinking rabbit.
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Old 06-26-20, 12:55 PM
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I flipped a passing motorist the bird today.
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Old 06-26-20, 01:02 PM
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reverborama
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I've told this one before. I was riding to work, approaching Fort Snelling. I came around a corner on the bike path and there was a squirrel smack dab in the middle. I nailed the brakes and the squirrel, shocked, leapt to the side. Just as the squirrel goes a hawk lands right where the squirrel had been and instance before. We all looked at each other for an moment in surprise and confusion. The squirrel took off one way, the hawk the other and I headed in to work. So somewhere a squirrel owes me its life and I owe a hawk breakfast.
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Old 06-26-20, 01:22 PM
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There was an aggressive male pheasant living at a popular mountain bike trail network nearby several years back. He would chase riders on the trail, usually pursuing them on foot. Became known as The Unpleasant Pheasant.
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Old 06-26-20, 01:33 PM
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While touring in Montana an osprey flew close over my head with a fish in its talons. I also got harassed by a common snipe during another tour in the state then saw several American White Pelicans a few days later. The latter are amazing. Look them up if you donít know what they are.
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Old 06-26-20, 01:44 PM
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Plenty of vultures here - occasionally I'll turn a blind corner and surprise a flock (?) head down in some roadkill. They all lumber into the air, sometimes coming within a few feet as they try to gain altitude. Probably no surprise, but vultures are pretty fragrant creatures, and not in a good way
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Old 06-26-20, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
On this morning's ride, over my left shoulder swoops a red-tailed hawk. He dropped down and leveled off directly in front of me, staying about 10 feet ahead for maybe 30 seconds. Then he quickly accelerates to a low hanging branch to perch and watch me pass below. I gave him a salute and I swear he expressed a kinda smile. Beautiful animal.

Got any bike/bird stories?
Just the same, but on the Proctor Creek Trail in Atlanta, GA.

Must be their thing....
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Old 06-26-20, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
I used to ride every morning before dawn, a converted rail trail through the woods near my house. Was jamming along, half asleep, when I look up and see a great horned owl ... we both notice each other, eye to eye, ..
>>> mal ojo glad you made it home
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... and so it goes
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Old 06-26-20, 02:38 PM
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Not a bike story, but I was going for an out-an-back run once with my dog (he was a border collie mix, I only had him a brief while, but exercising him kept me fit) and stumbled across about a half dozen turkey vultures surrounding the carcass of a squirrel/gopher/rodent of some description. We paused. We looked at the vultures. The vultures looked at us. We carried on.

We passed back through about 20-25 minutes later. The vultures were gone and all that was left of the rodent was a gleaming white spine and skull.
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Old 06-26-20, 02:49 PM
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tyrion
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The bird probably stopped because you weren't in proper drafting formation.

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Old 06-26-20, 03:16 PM
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My wife and I were riding the C&0 Canal Trail (around a couple decades ago) in Western Maryland. A heron (or stork?) flew along and over the canal, right next to the trail, for at least 50 yards. Won't forget it!
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Old 06-26-20, 03:35 PM
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Similar to Oakman, my story involves a red tailed hawk.
Slight downhill, going 22-24 mph, must have spooked the hawk that rose up from a roadside ditch. Never saw him until it began to rise and beat its wings. I settled in right behind in the middle of a 2 lane country road. For close to 200 yards, I could have reached out and touched it. Just magnificent.
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Old 06-26-20, 04:21 PM
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delbiker1 
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A few years ago, after a few days of cold, windy, wet December days, I abetted in the demise of a gray squirrel. That morning the sun came out, the wind calmed and it warmed up a bit. I was doing a few slow, casual laps around the neighborhood when a squirrel came across a yard in search of food. As I got near the squirrel, it sat up on its hind end and was looking at me. I moved to the far side of the road and all of a sudden a red-tailed hawk came swooping out of a tree, nailed the squirrel with a perfect strike at the back of the neck in its talons and then flew back into the woods with its food. The squirrel never moved in anyway once it was struck, the hawk never stopped or hesitated in its flight, and I just looked saying to myself, " Wow, that was pretty cool. " I guess the talons severed the squirrels spinal cord and it maybe never felt a thing. I had seen birds of prey bag their target before, but never that close up, and I had never before abetted in it.
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Old 06-26-20, 04:33 PM
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When I was in my early teens I rescued an injured pigeon that had hardly any feathers left. Cleaned him up and raised him until he was healthy. I even had to teach him how to fly. I used to put him on my head and then he'd launch himself and fly to a post. He eventually flew away. One day a number of months later I was riding along a road in my neighbourhood and that pigeon flew down and landed on my head.

Cheers
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Old 06-26-20, 05:35 PM
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I once had a bald eagle encounter very similar to the OP's story. It was super cool, and i wanted to look up continuously, but had to split time between watching the giant bird, and watching the road. It's funny how something like following a bird in flight can, for a few moments, suddenly become the only thing in the world that occupies one's thoughts.
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Old 06-26-20, 08:42 PM
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It wasn't a bird but one time on a rail-trail I stopped to take a rest. I put the kickstand down to support the bike and took a few steps away from the bike. A deer in a field made its way over too me whilst taking its time. After a large number of minutes it came right up to me and sniffed and muzzled me and then sniffed the bicycle. Quite the experience.

Cheers
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Old 06-26-20, 09:13 PM
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The 16mph winds were more like 30 yesterday. Tried to tuck in behind a bumblebee, but he shook me after about 50 feet.
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Old 06-26-20, 09:24 PM
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I was chased by an Alpha Goose when I stopped on the MUP to watch the flock so I rode away. At a Skyline Drive parking lot there were a bunch of turkey vultures hanging around waiting for food scraps. Driving near my house I saw a bald eagle flying over the road & being harried by crows & sparrows, I'm surprised to read that's quite common. On local MUP a bat bumped into my shoulder, I had thought their nifty sonar prevented that.
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Old 06-27-20, 05:30 AM
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indyfabz
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
On local MUP a bat bumped into my shoulder, I had thought their nifty sonar prevented that.
Itís not fool proof. Went to pack up my bike for a trip out west and found a bat impaled on the small chainring. I must have hit it while I was driving home from an all-day event ride to Brooklyn. The bike was on the roof.
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Old 06-27-20, 05:43 AM
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Totally forgot: During a tour across PA I was camping along the GAP. As the sun started to set I heard an owl near by. About 15 minutes later a small owl pounced on a chipmunk that was scurrying around maybe 15í from my picnic table. Poor guy never had a chance.

Back in Ď99, while riding across the country, I stopped to eat a sandwich in the shade of a tree in ID. After a few minutes I looked up and saw a bald eagle on a limb above me. He was just hanging out minding his own business.
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Old 06-27-20, 08:32 AM
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Let's talk turkey. Climbing Dobson Pass from Wallace, ID.


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Old 06-27-20, 10:45 AM
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Years ago while I was living in Chico, CA, I got a demonstration of just how aggressive red shoulder black birds can be. I was riding down River road which has many thickets of black berry and cat tails. Putting alone at a stately 15 mph or so on a bright Summer morning, I was suddenly accosted by one really pissed off male red shoulder black bird who was diving bombing me and pecking at my helmet. At one point, he was low and slow enough that I actually swatted at him as he went past my face. Bad idea. He squawked loudly, and the next thing I knew, a black berry bramble about 20 yards in front to me erupted into a cloud of screaming black birds like something out of a Hitchcock movie. They descended on me, swooping and diving at me like a swarm of locusts. For a few seconds, all I could see was black feathers and beaks. It took everything I had to accelerate and get out of their "no bike zone" before being completely engulfed. Got home to discover both the bike and I were in dire need of a major clean up.
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Old 06-27-20, 10:50 AM
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When my cross country group was camping in the North Cascades a Stellar Jay landed on our leaderís trailer and started pecking open a bag of cereal, the box for which had been tossed to make it easier to carry. And donít get me started on the aggressive Magpies we encountered during the trip.
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