You didn’t see a lot of birds near your house today when you walked alone for privacy and fresh air. It was quiet. Just sun and the hum of bugs. Trees starting to bud. North Shore gardens promising flowers soon. But, wait, when you looked up there was a Red-tailed Hawk circling overhead. He looked like a kid with arms outstretched pretending to be an airplane. It wasn’t hunting. When hawks hunt they drop from a branch onto a squirrel, or dive in fast to grab a duck. No, he was doing what he was doing just because it was fun. Maybe he was looking at you and thinking: that neighbor is out for a walk … just because it’s fun. Most bird sightings are quick. Not this one. You got a leisurely look at this big bad bird as it lingered over the path you guys shared. The fanned tail was backlit, showing its red color. The wings were wide and flat. The beak, curved and pointed. Talons were tucked-in, weapons not in use for the moment. You weren’t seeing a lot of birds today, but you were seeing a lot of bird. This column was adapted by Mike Lubow from his book: Wild Notes: Observations over time about birds and other fleeting things.
This column was adapted by Mike Lubow from his book: Wild Notes: Observations over time about birds and other fleeting things. Available on amazon.com.