Angela, Zolac no Miko (zolac_no_miko) wrote,
Angela, Zolac no Miko

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A very unexpected Thing (supercoolawesome Thing) happened yesterday.

So I'm out in the backyard doing the rounds for fruit, and I've arced around the breadfruit tree and I'm starting to sidle around the mountain apple tree with a very ripe breadfruit in my hand, and as the lowest branch of the mountain apple tree starts to come into view I come face-to-face with a large brown bird and I think, "GAH, BIRD!" and I think, "Wow, that's an ugly chicken,"—

—I'm going to pause in the narrative and explain about chickens. Here in Hawai‘i, moa (Red junglefowl or Polynesian junglefowl) run wild in the woods and everyone's backyards, and they look like this:

I've seen them fly up to people's roofs when scared by dogs, and they like to hang out under my mountain apple tree and eat fallen fruit, so it's a reasonable assumption that it would be a chicken, even if it's a bit weird for it to be in a tree, and as you can see, a brown moa would be a sadly ugly one—

—So I think, "Wow, that's an ugly chicken," and I come completely around the obscuring branch and I come face to face with one of THESE:

That would be an ‘io, or Hawaiian hawk, in my backyard, in my mountain apple tree, six feet off the ground and two meters in front of my face. My jaw falls off. She shifts restlessly (gender picked out of a hat, I can't tell the difference by looking) and I've backed off two paces before I can even register, clutching my breadfruit. At which point bird should've been like, "OH SHIT HUMAN" and flown away.

At which point bird was like, "Eh," and proceeded to ignore me completely. She sat on her branch and just hung out, didn't even look at me 99% of the time, even when I moved a little or made a noise, and I just stood and STARED at her, eyes watering at the feeling of how motherfucking privileged I was to be experiencing this. (Endangered species! Symbol of royalty and heavenly power! Motherfucking wild raptor!)

This went on for several minutes and I was starting to get worried that maybe she was injured or something and wondering if I should try to approach her and how I would go about doing so safely when she sort of unconcernedly hopped off the branch and glided a few meters to the lowest branch of the fern tree. I shifted position to continue to watch her from the best combination of Good View and Not Too Horribly Devoured By Mosquitos, and she continued to COMPLETELY IGNORE ME. Over the next bunch of minutes she would occasionally hop up to a higher branch, until she was pretty high up in the fern tree.

...I think she had to be a juvenile. I don't know how else to explain such derpy behavior.

At some point I decided I couldn't justify standing here gawking at her for much longer, so I went back to what I was doing. I walked over to the side of the yard, picked a pineapple and three cherry tomatoes, and came back to check on the hawk. I couldn't see her anymore, even after a good search of the fern tree's branches, so I thought maybe she'd snuck silently out of the tree when I wasn't looking. I continued moving around the yard, circling the fern tree, picked two more pineapples, and then I heard a soft sound and she shot out of the fern tree and dove down into one of the neighbor's yards, like she was hunting something. I didn't hear any undue noises of animal distress, so I guess she maybe didn't catch anything. I ran to the corner of my yard and climbed up on my fence to try and see, and even hopped the fence into the Uyeda's yard to run along the back of their fence, crouching to peer under the fruit trees blocking my view, but I couldn't find her again; all I got for my trouble was the disgruntlement of a few chickens and myself thoroughly molested by our back hedge.

So yeah. I think she must've taken a dive at something in our yard and missed, and flapped up to that low branch to get off the ground, or she was hunting the lizards that were hunting the fruit flies on our fallen mountain apples. I don't know how else (other than "derpy juvenile") to explain why she was sitting so close to the ground in my backyard, in my tree, RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE.


Tags: birdies, i love my awesome life, island life, omgwtfbbq, raptors: beaks not teeth, wildlife
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