a pigeon was lying on the flagstone path in the backyard when i went to go get my bicycle from the basement. at first i thought it was dead, but then i noticed it was struggling to move around. maybe it hit a window and was momentarily knocked unconscious or worse. but as i got closer and was able to see more clearly, i realized this was no accident. the blood combined with some pulled feathers told me this was a hawk attack. the thing was the pigeon wasn't quite dead, but it was in pretty rough shape. the hawk must've clawed it from above because both wings were torn, and the neck looked like it was either bit or broken when it fell to the ground. but why would a hawk leave such a fresh kill lying around? that's when i deduced that the hawk must be still in the area. i pan around the oak tree canopy high above, and that's when i saw it, maybe just 10-15 feet away, a hawk perched on a branch, looking straight at me with those piercing yellow hawk eyes. i quickly changed to my telephoto lens, but when i raised my camera to get a shot just a few seconds later, the hawk was gone. all that was left was the pigeon on the ground, which by now was dead.

if i wasn't going anywhere, this would've been a great opportunity to wait for the hawk to return. alas, i had business elsewhere, and couldn't afford to stick around. my only fear was when the hawk did return, it'd make a mess of eating the pigeon, which happened before, and i'm still finding feathers in the backyard. seeing the dead pigeon though was pretty gruesome and scary, especially since it was still alive, however briefly. there's no love lost for a pigeon, but i still felt bad for it. i left the pigeon as is, didn't want to interfere in the natural order of things.

as for the hawk, rarely do i get to see a bird of prey at such close proximity. i knew it wasn't a red-tail hawk (which is the most common hawk around these here parts) because it was much smaller (red-tails measure about 19" long). it was also slender, not bulky like a red-tail. too big to be a kestrel either (they measure only 9" long and i'd know if saw a kestrel, they're pretty distinctive). the hawk i saw had a lot of mottled brown lines on its chest and brown wings, and yellow eyes. if i had to guess, it was probably a first year juvenile cooper's hawk (they measure about 16" long), which reside in the southern new england area year round. my last close encounter with a cooper's hawk was at prospect park in brooklyn november 2008. i don't think it was a sharp-shinned hawk (which looks very similar) because this was definitely bigger (sharp-shinned are 11" long).

more networking stuff: i went down to the cafe to set up the webcam on a static ip number after the router's DHCP server refreshed its client table and assigned a new ip to the camera, thereby nullifying the port forwarding rule i'd set up yesterday. that still didn't solve the intermittent wireless network downing problem. another issue: comcast assigned a new ip number to the modem (i may have to go a DDNS route in the near future if comcast refreshes its dynamic ip's so frequently).

back at home, i was afraid to go into the backyard and see what i'd find. the pigeon was gone. not only that, but the hawk must've decided to eat elsewhere because the backyard was free of pigeon parts. all that remained was a pool of blood and a few feathers.

for dinner i had some clear beef broth from my parents' cafe, mixed with some rice noodles. i watched a bit of the haiti telethon, and wondered if really in fact all those celebrities were on the phone taking donations.

i played some no more heroes today. what a strange and violent game! reminds me of the crank movies, high octane action and bizarre scenarios. it's a good game to warm up to though, there's a lot of wii remote and nunchuk movements.

finally, watched the very last episode of the tonight show with conan o'brien. funny how you never really appreciate something until it's gone. then you wonder how you ever lived without it. that's how i am with conan. i can't imagine he won't a part of the late night line-up, at least not until september when he's released from NBC's contractual muzzle. that's a long time, almost to the end of the year. i won't be watching any leno as a form of protest, and letterman, fallon, ferguson, and fallon aren't just the same as conan. maybe this chance will finally give me the reason to go to bed earlier. in his last episode, i don't think conan had enough time given how quickly he was ousted to assemble a proper line-up with the right people to send him off. hanks and ferrell i can understand, but musical guest neil young? were the white stripes unavailable? i know the band played some WS at one point. i would've also liked to see some old favorite characters, like the masturbating bear and triumph the insult comic dog, just because if what they say is true, conan won't be able to bring these characters to his hypothetical new show. i'm trying to remember what it was like when david letterman left NBC. there must've also been a vacuum.