Recently I noticed on the path between the employee parking lot and the main lot a dead field rat. It looked rather gruesomely killed, as it was missing it's head.
Now, I started wondering why there would possibly be a headless rat lying in a parking lot median. A while ago (while catching the bee swarm, actually) I saw a pair of sharp-shinned hawks passing food to each other on top of a lightpost. One of the hawks had successfully caught some rodent and passed it off to its mate, who took it home to the nest in a nearby redwood tree.
The lightpost was directly above where I now found the headless rat. 'Well,' I thought to myself, 'I guess someone dropped dinner and was nervous about landing to pick it up.' Case closed.
Today I noticed the gruesome scene had been added to. There were two more bodies that definitely had not been there this morning.
The first squirrel had at least almost been finished, but the other one, again, was just missing a head. I started to suspect a cult. Maybe some weird hawk cult involving the ritual sacrifice of small rodents.
'Man,' I thought, 'these hawks really suck at passing food between them.' When I had seen them do it before it looked like a pretty slick operation. Now I was starting to wonder about them. I looked up at the light, trying to imagine the scene... and suddenly I saw a little head poking out looking at me!
A very curious, annoyed juvenile hawk was camped out on top of the light sneaking a peek at me! Aha! Someone is a sloppy eater and dropped his last meal before finishing.
I was sure it was a juvenile because it was all just sort of a dirty mottled brown, no distinctive markings of an adult. He paced back and forth a bit, like he wanted to come down and get his squirrel but was too scared.
I think after watching his parents land on the light so often he was curious and flew to it, and decided he liked hanging out there. Unfortunately, his sloppy eating habits are kind of freaking out my fellow employees.