ALERT: Please skip this article if you are feeling the least bit squeamish.
Click on the Read More tab below the text to see all the photos.
Looking for Snow Buntings while walking alongside Niles Pond, I came around a bend in the road and noticed from a distance the head of a large bird pecking at something on the embankment. Hmmm, a hawk, that’s why there weren’t any birds to be found. Hawks swooping their territory overhead quickly clears the woods and puts the kibosh on photographing songbirds.
Inching forward, baby step by baby step, the hawk was broad and large, and with its beautiful rust-red tail feathers, I thought it was most likely a female Red-tailed Hawk. The females are 25 to 30 percent bigger than the males, and because this bird was definitely on the larger size, for the sake of our story, we’ll refer to the hawk as a female.
She was intently devouring a freshly killed bird and if she had not been very hungry, I doubt she would have allowed me to move in so close. At one point, after having nearly eviscerated the entire bird, she tried to lift and carry away the carcass with her claw-shaped talons (one of the last photos in the batch). She did not succeed and finding more body parts, continued to eat.
After a bit, some boisterous folks came up from behind, startling both the hawk and myself, and off she flew to the far side of the pond. I found a stick and turned the dead carcass over onto its back. The head was missing, but by looking at the black webbed feet as well as the chest and belly feathers, it quickly became apparent that the victim was a Great Cormorant. I am sad to say that I think it was the very same juvenile Great Cormorant that had been living at Niles Pond for the past month as I have not seen another since.
Red-tailed hawks are extraordinarily adept hunters and highly variable in their diet. Eighty percent of the Hawk’s prey is comprised of mammals. For example, mice, voles, squirrels, chipmunks, rats, and rabbits. Records indicate that they also eat songbirds, pigeons, shorebirds, and unbelievably so, female Wild Turkeys and pheasants. Now we can add Great Cormorant to the list. Red-tailed Hawks weigh approximately between 1.5 pounds to 3.2 pounds, female Wild Turkeys average 9 to 10 pounds, and Great Cormorants weigh 5 to 8 pounds.
There were birders in the neighborhood earlier that morning, the morning of the winter solstice, December 21st. I wonder if they saw the Hawk kill the Cormorant, or if the Hawk came upon the freshly killed bird and it had been taken down by another predator. If you were one of the birders watching the Hawk out on Eastern Point near Niles Pond, on December 21st, please write. Thank you so much!
MORE PHOTOS HERE
For us NYE is different every year. Some years we struggle to stay awake. Other years we’re in party mode. Like many of you, we’re eager to see 2016 gone and welcome 2017 in the most fun way possible, so we’re in PARTY MODE.
If you’re in party mode too, there’s lots to do (see here) — and all night long, meaning you don’t necessarily have to choose — YOU CAN DO IT ALL! You could go to an early show that’s over by 9:30 and then bop down the road to Beverly’s Vittori-Rocci Hall and help blues legend James Montgomery KICK 2016 out and rock in 2017. That’s where we’ll be.
Just in case you forgot what a true rock star he is, here’s a video of James Montgomery with the Allman Brothers Band about 4 years ago.
Dear Gloucester Residents,
As 2016 winds down, I want to pause to express my gratitude to everyone for all that you have done to help move Gloucester forward. Many believe that this year was tougher than other years, but I want to reflect on the positive and look ahead with renewed hope as we enter 2017.
To start the year, our administration and the new City Council were sworn in and we committed ourselves to working together on behalf of all Gloucester residents. We are lucky to have so many dedicated public officials who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard on the issues that we face as a community.
I want to thank all City Councilors, city employees, board and commission members, volunteers, organizers, members of the business community and everyone else who has helped to build on the progress that we have made. No one…
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Plus a current Gloucester vintage store guide below the photographs
ADRIFT ON MAIN, 284 Main Street, Gloucester, MA (978) 515-7888
Adrift on Main, a new second-hand and collectibles destination, opened December 2016 on the east end of Main Street. Owners Ryan and Sarah Goyette reside in Byfield and chose Gloucester over their home town, Essex, and other north shore communities for their new store. Coaster sets are made by Sarah. Welcome to the neighborhood!
Gloucester MA vintage shopping guide
2016-17. Most are a mix of then and now objects, clothing, and collectibles; some with work by contemporary artists and artisans. Three mainstays:
BANANAS 78 Main Street
MAIN STREET ART AND ANTIQUES 124 Main Street
VINTAGE 211 East Main Street
Adrift on Main 284 Main Street
Alexandra’s Bakery and shop 265 Main Street, (978)281-0364
Alma’s Art and Antiques, 214 Eastern Avenue (formerly on Rocky Neck) now located in “The Commons Gloucester” marketplace
Annisquam Exchange (for the the historic buildings of the village, open seasonally) 32 Leonard Street
Cape Ann Auction 82 Main Street (formerly Fred Bodin’s Historic Photo)
Cape Ann Thrift Shop Trinity Congregational Church 70 Middle Street
DIVA 161 Main Street
Dogtown Book Shop 132 Main Street
The Dress Code 159 Main Street
Eastern Point Lit House 261 Main Street
Fireflies Boutique 100 Main Street
Gloucester estate buyers, 45 Main Street
goodlinens, 130 Main Street (featuring some reissued classics)
Lynzariums flowers and … 186 East Main Street
Mystery Train Records 21 Main Street
Past Present Shoppe, 30 Railroad Avenue
Pop Shop 67 Main Street (vintage nod and inspiration)
RAD estate Jewelers, 45 Main Street
St. John’s Episcopal Church Thrift Shop 48 Middle Street
St.Vincent de Paul Society of Gloucester and Cape Ann (donations for charity ‘Clothes Closet’ and food pantry at St. Anne’s)
The Urchin Exchange 214 Eastern Avenue, Unit 8, located in “The Commons Glocuester” just after Pond Road
While I don’t celebrate Hanukkah I have been lucky enough to be invited in to the homes of some friends who do…and it has been lovely to witness the tradition and special family moments. When I was still teaching, I also had many parents volunteer to come in and share the story of Hanukkah with my students and enjoyed watching the wonder in their eyes.
So, I mean no disrespect, but this is still funny….
The world’s greatest pork chop and no where else is even close is @tonnogloucester Before I had it, if you had asked me if I’d ever considered ordering a pork chop at a restaurant and I would have looked at you like you were crazy. But on opening night the construction crew told me I had to try it. Boy am I glad I did. Outrageous.
More Cape Ann Community News-
The Library will be open Saturday December 31 (New Year’s Eve) regular hours!(8:30am-5:00pm). Come in and get some books, magazines, music, and movies for the long weekend! The library will be closed Monday January 2 in observance of New Year’s Day.
Artist Series #4:
Save the date:
More Cape Ann Health Fitness and Wellness News-
Your Bridge to Health; Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit
The World Has Lost ‘Bright Lights’ with the passing of ‘Mother-Daughter’ actors Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. Two strong women known for their resiliency and humor, especially in the face of adversity and mental health issues. May they be together in everlasting peace. Peace to their family and friends.
A Home in the Meadow – (The tidal beach pictured in this video reminds me of Good Harbor Beach.)
Sung by Debbie Reynolds in the movie How the West Was Won, now seems a prelude to welcome her ‘home.’ Carrie Fisher died from complications of a heart attack. Her mother, Debbie Reynolds died one day later. While it is has been reported that Debbie Reynolds died from a stroke, dying from a broken heart is a real syndrome, and severe stress can cause the release of stress hormones that elevate blood pressure, constrict…
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