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Beginner's Heart

red-shouldered_hawk

red-shouldered hawk

I wish I could say I took this picture. But I will say that the hawk sitting on my deck rail looked at me just like this before it flew off.

I heard it call while writing at my desk yesterday, in the other room — an eerily high sound, nothing like its looks. The keening of a predator, close by.

I couldn’t figure out what I was hearing, so I walked into the kitchen. Through the breakfast room I saw it: sitting beside one of the deck feeders, calling. It stood almost two feet high, and it turned to look at me before leaving the deck rail. Its mate flew down to join it, as they swooped through yard, climbing into the air.

And my whole day filled with wings.

Nothing is quite as magical — at least to me — as outside. Well, grandchildren. Babies of all kinds (not only human). But being outside, where something like a hawk can surprise you… And in the city! 2 miles from the mall!

Yes, we’ve put out bird feeders. LOTS of them. And we spend a fair bit on various bird feed: suet, sunflower, millet, nut & fruit cylinders, nectar for hummers, a platform feeders for mourning doves. Thistle for finches and the other little feeders.

But still. To know that we have made the yard safe for something as wild as a raptor? Wow. For a few amazing moments, I was connected to wings and a hooked beak and utterly fierce eyes. And the whole world tilted on its axis.

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