One lunchtime a couple of weeks ago, on our way to the Athletic Center via Meeting St. (next to Wheeler's playing field), Trina Avery and Suzi Howe were thrilled to see a hawk eating his lunch--a grey squirrel (a fresh kill, which I regret we did not witness, although the meter maid did!). What made this such a unique experience was that because the grade of the field is about three feet higher than the sidewalk, we were practically at eye level with the bird and barely four feet from him. Curiosity increased the crowd of onlookers, but the hawk wasn't perturbed at all. He continued to chow down on his quarry, holding the squirrel steady with his talons and ripping the fur away savagely with his wicked beak to get to the good parts! Mesmerized by the sight but late for our workout class, we left as the hawk began pulling up the entrails; a little too much to take!
Our ID of the bird is still in question, but the best suggestion was an immature red-tailed hawk. It's doubtful that a mature bird would have tolerated our proximity for so long. After class, we retraced our steps, hoping that he'd still be there... but only a patch of grey fur and a small pile of unpleasant inedibles remained. We've noticed a decided lack of birds and squirrels at Pembroke Field lately.