Pretend there are also pink plastic Schnucks bags in this picture, which is not of the actual event in the story.
Nature, red in tooth and claw, made her mighty presence known yesterday to a mild-mannered reporter out for an early-morning jog near Grand Boulevard.
From the no-man's land behind the South City Schnucks
facing Cherokee Street, a bloodthirsty tan and white raptor suddenly pushed off from the ground near some pine trees, hauling a recently-expired pigeon by the back of its neck like a cat might carry a kitten. In a flurry of feathers, the murderous bird of prey and his breakfast were gone.
Denise Kirkpatrick, owner of the Wild Bird Center of South St. Louis County
, tells the still mildly freaked-out Daily RFT
that the bird was a Cooper's Hawk
, a native North American bird.
"The Cooper's hawk is a rather large hawk and strictly eats
birds," Kirkpatrick says. "Pigeons and doves are the mostly likely targets: They can fly fast but
they are slow at takeoff."
And a city swoop like that isn't at all uncommon this time of year. Baby
hawks are born in the spring, and at this stage in their lives the
juvenile birds are just starting to hunt on their own without their
"Sometimes they're not so adept so they take what's easy -- they only catch one maybe one out of ten times. Sometimes
in the city where there are lots of pigeons it's an easy target."