Tag Archives: swainson’s hawk

Where Will The Hawks Nest If All The Trees Are Gone?~

Everyone was woken up this morning, at seven o’clock, by Kenshin. He ran across the bed.  He pushed aside the vertical blinds. And he pawed at the closed windows. Then he talked and talked, and talked. Siamese talk a lot. They are very vocal cats…

I crawled out of bed and looked out the bathroom window.

  I saw the dark grey sky. I noticed the reddish color of the decks railings were topped with an icing of snow.   And then, I become aware of a slight movement near the bottom section of the deck. I scanned the lower deck for the rats.  I assumed,  the rats must have gotten Kenshin all worked up.  

But, it wasn’t the rat!  It was a very large hawk perched on the railing, just above the rat’s habitat.  This Buteo was not amused! I disturbed him!  It could have been the Red-tailed Hawk…  But, he looked a lot like the Swainson’s hawk that lives around here.

His breast feathers were puffed up, mottled white and reddish orange, mixed in with brown and black.  His deep rich colors blended in with his beige, downy winter feathers.  

The feathers on his head were slick dark, with browns and blacks. I didn’t notice the color of his tail feathers.  They were hidden by the decks railing. And I couldn’t see the color of his eyes. But I felt his gaze when he turned his head slightly.  He ruffled his feathers, in an irritated matter. His beak was hooked and sharp, thick and dark in color.

His stance was of pride.  A Buteo!  It radiated from him. He was beauty.  Beyond everything that was around him. He lived in this moment.

 I wished that I could be that self-assured, and free… There is irony in that word, “free.”

While he watched me, I saw a flicker of concern flash over his eyes. He stretched out his wings and jumped, and glided effortlessly along the ground.  Then he swooped upward into the trees.

I watched him spin and settle on a thin branch.  I immediately thought of how this hawk lost another nesting tree.

The past few days, the air has held a sweet, woody scent. Yesterday I saw what made that smell.

A few miles from my home, there is a grove of Oak trees.  Their ages ranged from seventy to hundred-fifty years old, craggily towering giants.

 I drove past those old trees yesterday and I saw empty spaces and tree stumps.  The Oaks were being cut down. I saw neatly stacked coffins waiting to be carted away.

Why cut down the trees during an ecological crisis?  Shouldn’t we be conserving nature? 

I find all this all very heartbreaking.  

A few hours later, I stepped  out on my deck. The clouds hung heavy and grey.  

In that muffled, snow covered silence.  I heard the hawk’s high pitch screech…

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You can hear the call of the Swainson’s hawk, and other birds here;

http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/44/_/Swainsons_Hawk.aspx