|Look! Is It The Queen of England? No, It's A Red-Shoulder Hawk |
in our Backyard!
My 7 year old daughter’s voice is shrill. Excited. Urgent!!!
“Mommy. MOMMY! Come quick!!!”
Another accident. Disaster. What’s going on???????
I sprint to the family room where she’s perched on top of the piano looking out into the backyard. I see no blood. No snapped-in-half looking of her limbs.
What’s going on?
“Mommy! Oh, look. LOOK! There’s a huge, HUGE falcon in the backyard!”
There he sat. On our lawn. Our suburban lawn. Next to the big red slide of our falling-apart swing-set. A giant bird of prey. Gorgeous orange shoulders and belly. Black spotty markings. A pattern that only Mother Nature could design with such breathtaking intricacy.
Oh my god! We quietly run around the house, gathering the rest of the family. Searching for the (ahem, misplaced) binocs and, of course, the handy Peterson Field Guide to Western North America Birds.
In a moment, the “falcon” makes a big flap and hops onto the wooden fence that borders our house with the unbelievably cranky Cat Lady who lives next door. Hmmmmmm. Is he looking for some delicious, fuzzy feline to fill his belly perhaps?
Flip, flip. We find the Birds of Prey page. After some deliberation, we’re convinced that it’s a Red Shouldered Hawk. A Red Shouldered Hawk! Just 30 feet away. Hanging out on our little patch of backyard grass.
Oh we’re so proud. We’re glowing. Like we’ve just had a visit from the QUEEN OF ENGLAND (or her pregnant grand-daughter.) We shoot out emails to like-minded friends and family. Bird emails.
Yes, bird emails.
Like some overtaken, swooning geekster, we have become those people. Those bird people. We’ve been hit hard by the bird flu… the bird flu of love. Love for these feathered friends who delight the planet with their magical aerodynamic capacity and soaring spirit.
Ahhh. It’s an uplifting moment.
And as for the neighborhood cats and our cranky-arse Cat Lady next door, reel in your kitties – it’s lunch time out there.
Namaste & Three Cheers! –OM
For more on Red-Shouldered Hawks and awesome birds:
ps. YES, i keep changing the title of this post because i'm trying to find my audience here. Come on BIRD NERDS, where are you???