I apologize in advance to those of you who fear birds...
Meet the Black-Eared Kite - a medium-sized bird of prey that soars above the island of Japan searching for fish, or small animals...or food that stupid Americans feed it. They are such aggressive scavengers that many Americans have found it amusing to have these "seahawks" swoop down and snatch the food that they toss into the air. So apparently there was a memo or "tweet" (couldn't help myself) sent to all seahawks - come to Yokosuka!!
Amused Americans Offer Free Food for all!
And so they hang out, waiting.
Our first seahawk experience was here at our home - I had a small bag of old bread and thought Charlotte might enjoy feeding the tiny little birds hopping around our bushes.
Aww... cute little birds. See how they hop out from that bush to get the crumbs? Adorable.
Then we see a shadow.
Then we see a shadow.
A large bird has perched on top of the roof of the building next to ours. Weird.
Probably just some grumpy crow or something.
Then another shadow, circling above us.
Suddenly 5 or 6 large birds of prey have gathered above our town home and are circling over the crumbs Charlotte has spread on the ground.
Quick - grab the kid, sit inside, and watch in shock as these giant birds swoop down to the ground for a few crumbs of bread.
Wow. What a sight.
Note to self - don't eat food outside.
Should have made a bigger note.
Fast forward about 6 months.
We had gone to the Officer's club for lunch. We do that quite frequently when we are on base at lunch time - it's actually one of the cheapest places to eat. They always have these yummy rolls. Charlotte loves them.
She drops hers on the floor and asks for another. "Sure" we say, but how about we take it to-go, since we need to get going. Charlotte takes the roll into her tiny little hand and out the door we go.
Daddy and Charlotte walk ahead of me - one of Charlotte's hands holds Daddy's hand, the other holds the roll.
Suddenly a shadow.
Before I even can speak - the shadow swoops down - his wings brush Ryan's cap
and he DIVES AT CHARLOTTE
- successfully snatching the roll from her hand - and flies away.
This was a bird with a 3-4 ft. wingspan.
We all stand there stunned and Charlotte bursts into tears.
I almost burst into tears.
Charlotte escapes with only a tiny scratch on her hand - the bird has good aim, and apparently NO fear of humans.
Lesson learned again- don't eat food outside, don't eat food outside, don't eat food outside.