Bicycle / Bus Commute – Blog Entry #3 Red Tailed Hawks

Ok, I’m satisfied now, they are definitely hawks. I did a little looking around the web and I was pretty sure the birds I saw fit the description, but I had only seen from a distance. Now I’m really sure!

It was very exciting this morning, thinking about hilltops and hawks. I saw one on the sign as I passed by, very cool! but it didn’t fly around, so I went on past. As I was walking, quite a ways away, I heard a sort of slight whooshing noise sort of behind me on the field side, not the traffic side.

I turned and looked just in time to see a hawk land on a fence post no more than 30 feet from where I was standing. It was obscured by the branch of a small bush, but I saw it clearly, met its gaze eye to eye in fact.

It was beautiful!

I have the feeling it was a female, It seemed pretty large. Such feathers I have never seen before, the sharp hooked beak and big round eyes. Unmistakable! And it was looking at me! I wanted a picture! I got out my camera, tried to move slowly and quietly, but the noise of the camera seemed to put her off. She flew up onto the billboard.

Oh my gosh, that was pretty exciting. My head was a buzz, maybe I will bring my video camera, it has a zoom lense and it would record her cry. How cool would that be.

The more I thought about it today, though, the more I wish I had just sat down and said hello.

The pictures didn’t turn out anyway.

If you look very closely at the post on the right, you can barely see the outline of the hawk, perched on the top. Its a good hider.

City Critters July 09, 2008-03 - Red Tailed Hawks
City Critters July 09, 2008-04 - Red Tailed Hawks
City Critters July 09, 2008-05 - Red Tailed Hawks
City Critters July 09, 2008-06 - Red Tailed Hawks
City Critters July 09, 2008-07 - Red Tailed Hawks
City Critters July 09, 2008-08 - Red Tailed Hawks
City Critters July 09, 2008-09 - Red Tailed Hawks

All the way to Walmart on the homeward bound bus, I couldn’t talk about anything else. I pointed out the sign to the driver and the other passenger, and we could just barely see that there was a bird perched on the sign.

By the time I got off the bus and started biking home though, it was gone. I waited by the field, coasted along slowly down the sidewalk for a while, looked up, looked down, looked far and wide, waited some more. No sign of any hawks.

In a way I’m glad to know they are cautious of strangers.

Its curious to me, to wonder if they’ve been watching me go to and fro all this time when I was oblivious to their presence.

Maybe they were only passing through, I don’t know.

Wish I could speak their language, ask them how it is to live free and soar over a field of mice.

A friend from work says every morning when he gets in his car to commute the 30 miles to work, a certain cardinal laughs at him from his perch in a tree. Laughing at him for living such a constrained life.

Who knows, maybe so.

I say, if we can’t even communicate with birds, how would we ever expect to communicate with a Martian if we ever found one?