We all saw him this time. Richard grabbed the nearest camera and took the best picture and then handed the Nikon to me, my hand reaching blindly behind me for it–I know how fast Coopernicus can disappear and I didn’t want to miss a thing.
Someone had recently moved a ladder under the eaves near the small birdfeeder in the alcove part of the patio, making a ten-foot-wide space even narrower for a 31″ wingspan to be wheeling around in–I had been wondering if it had been interfering with his hunting and where to move it to. But it was his hunting that had driven a finch into the window and gotten me to look up to see him–and he twirled sideways into wings straight up and down as he whizzed around that tight area, fully aware of the space and of the presence of the glass. And later he did it again! Dazzling.
Barbecue grill to the lawnmower handle, repeating Friday’s pattern. (Note to my childhood friend Karen: that’s your birds suncatcher in the upper edge.) After awhile, Richard and Michelle went back to whatever they were doing wherever, but I was not about to miss out.
Again, the hawk and I spent a long time together watching each other. For about half an hour. Then he lifted off lightly to the neighbor’s post just over the fence, where, his dark gray back to me, he fluffed out his chest feathers against the cold, the late sun illuminating their edges into a brilliantly-lit white-ish halo poofing out at his sides. He watched a flock of finches start to play in the tree in front of him–then one suddenly went zing! in a straight shot to the right.Â Hawk! Run! Then another, then the rest of them caught on to him as he watched the show in no particular hurry.
He was very much out in the open. No stealth. This was his home, the neighbor’s yard and mine, and he was proclaiming it to the world.
I checked outside briefly to see if a bird had indeed gone down at impact from that window strike, but no; he noted my doing so and so about two minutes later was when he came back and did that second fly-by that again missed the ladder, leaning into an up-and-down wingtip just so.
He went to the top of the table. He walked through the amaryllis pots. He bowed once, twice to the world beyond my window.
And then, wings wide, he bade me good day, forty-five minutes after I’d first seen him, and was gone.
(With thanks to Kelli, who gave me her old camera when mine died. My Iphone was in my purse somewhere, but Kelli’s Nikon was right in reach.)
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