Breakfast at Sweeten

Author: Emilie Kretschmar

Last week Sweeten was treated to its own wildlife adventure. A very large hawk decided to perch atop a neighboring building and have breakfast.

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He was a beautiful animal and didn’t seem to mind when us Sweeten folk came out onto the balcony to photograph him. Breakfast was his main concern.

Lisa Marie captures the action for social media.

Lisa Marie captures the action for social media.

Upon further investigation—googling “hawks of Pennsylvania”—I discovered that we were watching a red-tailed hawk, also known as a chickenhawk. Although they rarely prey on standard-sized chickens, they do love squirrels and pigeons of which there are many in Philadelphia. The specie also seems to be unfazed by human activity so, unlike many of their fellow birds-of-prey, these hawks are often found in cities like our own Philadelphia.

Watching animals up close is a fascinating thing. It can be both beautiful and repellent at the same time, which is an unusual combination. Last year on safari, Penn alumni and I experienced a similar sensation. Lions on the hunt is a beautiful spectacle, but also nerve-racking as you wait for something gruesome to happen (or not happen, in our case). If animal watching is of interest to you, join us this fall on our alumni tour of East Africa.

My favorite shot from the lion hunt in the Ngorongoro Caldera. The buffalo win this round.

My favorite shot from the Ngorongoro Caldera lion hunt. The buffalo win this round.

But if Africa is a little too far for your taste (or your wallet), make sure you look upwards next time you’re in Philadelphia or on campus at Penn. Perhaps you’ll spot another red-tailed hawk!

Our red-tailed friend.

Our red-tailed friend.

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1 Comment

Filed under Emilie, Squirrels, Sweeten Alumni House, The Sweeten Life

One response to “Breakfast at Sweeten

  1. lilliang2013

    LOVE IT!

    Lillian Gardiner, GEd ’11
    Assistant Director, Multicultural Outreach
    University of Pennsylvania Alumni Relations
    E. Craig Sweeten Alumni House | 3535 Locust Walk | Philadelphia, PA 19104
    215.898.6420 | 215.898.5383 (fax) |

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