February 12, 2015

A huge hawk joins my menagerie

I feed sunflower seeds to the little birds who live around my house. So many tiny birds live in bushes; it always amazes me. I don't understand how they survive the cold, northeast winters. But somehow, some way, they do. (Speaking of which, NY is supposed to see the coldest temperatures in 20 years this weekend.)

I tossed out my usual big glass full of seeds this morning, and later decided to toss some more -- along with birdalicious suet. They adore this stuff in the winter, though it seems to lose its allure in the summer months.

But when I opened the curtain and the sliding door in one movement, I startled the feeding birds and a huge bird came flying right toward my face. It stopped only a foot short and veered up toward the roof. I wasn't freaked out by this. I just thought, "What is that big bird?!"

It immediately flew to a tree right next to my house. At this point, it was about 16 feet from me. I said hello and it looked at me with interest. As I say, it didn't seem to fear me -- though it's a smart bird that keeps its distance from humans. And he seemed to be interested in the seeds, rather than the innocent little birds around him. There wasn't a drop of blood out there, thank Dog. Happy with my bird sighting, I tossed out the seeds and went back to my computer.

When I returned to the door an hour later, the hawk was right on the other side of the glass, sitting happily on my top step. Boy, is he big! Seeing him up close really told the tale. Big and powerful. His legs and claws are amazing.

I thought about taking a photo but in my experience, birds are wary of cameras. Since I didn't want to scare him off permanently, I skipped the photo session. Still, if he keeps returning I should be able to sneak a shot and show him to you.

A hawk. How cool!

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