This is what I found standing on my deck the other day. Before writing this post, I googled whether this is a hawk or falcon. Turns out, its a red-tailed hawk — both beautiful and fierce.
In all my years in Connecticut, I’ve never seen a raptor this close. The bird seemed calm and unhurried, coolly surveying our yard.
Most likely he was looking for his next meal – a chipmunk, bunny, maybe a hummingbird or two for starters? He was near their feeder.
Outside, I imagined the warning cries of jays and cardinals. I pictured Mommy birds shielding babies, chipmunks scurrying under brush and lizards sliding back under rocks. It felt like the scene in the western, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” when gunslinger Lee Marvin came to town. Part of me wanted to shoo this bird away.
My husband Randy would argue the hawk has a right to eat too. Maybe this is a female who’s feeding her young. Maybe he or she is a teenager and learning to fend for themselves. But I can’t help but be annoyed. Does this bird’s lunch have to be one of my precious woodland creatures? And why does life have to be so cruel? And why do I always identify with the victim?
I picked up my I-phone, clicking as many pictures as I could through the window. At one point, the hawk turned and looked at me. His sharp bird eyes took me in and I couldn’t help wonder what he thought of this strange human gawking at him.
My phone made a funny beep and I glanced down. When I looked back the hawk was gone. I hurried outside to see if I could find it. Was it winging its way home, some unlucky baby squirrel in its talons? Would it go to another neighborhood?
Or maybe this bird was an omen, a messenger from the other side as Teresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium would say. Shiver. Who knows?
I never saw the hawk again, although big birds wing their way across our sky all the time. I’m one of these people who get sad life’s always about prey and predator. Something’s always eating, killing, or messing with something smaller and weaker.
I get that it’s the law of the jungle, the way nature was designed, survival of the fittest. But damn.
Its hard on us people who always root for the bunnies and chipmunks.
Have you had any interesting visitors from the animal world? Do you root for the bunnies and chipmunks? Comments are welcome and if you like, please share… thank you.
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