Just to let me know
Wednesday June 12th 2013, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

The orange-flowered tree (Grevillea robusta, thank you LA Times) near sunset, the neighbor’s tree that the corvids swamped, as taken through the skylight.  It seems they were going after what the Times called a sweet and drippy nectar, and they must have gotten it all because since that day not a single one has come back. The Cooper’s have the place all to themselves again.

After Anne’s comment about crows, I looked up California ravens–and found that they are genetically identical to the Rio Grande-area Chihuahua ravens, the smallest type, in between crows and regular ravens. Curious. I can tell you that there is a fast food place across the street from Cottage Yarns, and I once sat at the light there watching a crow with a french fry and a local raven staring him down, giving me a good view of the size difference as the bigger bird demanded: Drop it.

The crow did, backing off in a hurry.

I poured the last of the safflower seed into the feeder this morning. I had more sunflower, but I knew the squirrels would empty the thing in minutes if I didn’t cover their version of creme brulee with their brussels sprouts. Time to go to the bird center.

Are you sure you’re up to it? My sweetie asked. (Still fighting that cold.)

I think so–and if I find I’m not, I’ll turn around in a block or two and go home, I promised.

Got there, got my birdseed, chatted a bit. I mentioned my Cooper’s hitting the screen then the window behind it and the woman was relieved that he would have been cushioned somewhat (while I was comforted to talk to someone who knew and cherished hawks, too.)

I drove home thinking about that magnificent bird and how much I wished he would show up and show me he’s okay.

Come late afternoon, a squirrel was quietly grazing on the ground, just where  I like them, but as I glanced up, no birds were to be seen.  The feeders were both nearly empty–not quite but almost–and the safflower was still in the car. Carrying 20 pounds when I’d gotten home just hadn’t been going to happen till I’d rested up a bit.

Long wings zoomed in and landed on the back of the dolly right outside the window–where he was hidden from me by the thick beam at the side of the sliding door. Right there and immediately vanished. He’s so good at knowing exactly what my physical viewpoint is, an essential skill for a raptor. Not like a squirrel, which will think if it can’t see you you can’t see it. Hawks know exactly where they have to be to disappear from the eyes of whatever they’re watching.

I carefully, ever so slowly backed up in my chair.

He kept a steady gaze, okay with that.

And then cocked his head and looked around me and again at me through the window. Pianos never move, computer screens do but this one’s holding still now. He looked over at the squirrel, who was watching him intently and in fear but not quite enough to make him make a mad dash for it–but he did turn his back to Coopernicus for a moment there while trying to decide but turned back again.

Good move–hawks like to come up from behind a squirrel so that those teeth and claws aren’t useful to their prey, from all I’ve seen.

The hawk looked at me again, the sun behind him and his colors in shadow, and in return I radiated love to the best of my ability, thanking him silently for coming, thanking him for reassuring me that he was still flying and that he was alright.

He lifted those wings high, then his feet at first flap, and to the squirrel’s relief, was up up and away.

5 Comments so far
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Yay! Your words create such a wonderful painting of your view. Thank you.

Comment by DebbieR 06.13.13 @ 5:48 am

I’m so glad your hawk dropped in to let you know all is well.

Comment by Channon 06.13.13 @ 8:35 am

I am fascinated by your wildlife descriptions! I do wish you had videos to go along with the script.

Comment by Don Meyer 06.13.13 @ 8:59 am

good to hear the hawk is ok! I didn’t know that about the crows and ravens — makes me wonder what these big black birds I see in my yard really are

Comment by bev 06.13.13 @ 3:22 pm

One of the things that struck me most my first week in Japan was the call of the Ravens. The birds are identical to those I know, but the call was differently pitched, and differently timed.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 06.14.13 @ 12:45 pm

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