Wednesday, December 09, 2009
The trees now stand in creaky upright poses with branches all crooked like a witch's knobby fingers reaching to the blue winter sky as if grasping for the return of the warmth of the sun. All is brittle and gray brown. Nothing is left to hide the temporary visitors anymore. Although the shapes and brown and gray of bony tree joints sometimes look like backs or necks of the larger birds, this first of the prey birds was visible in the front yard holding watch on one of the sturdy branches with the warm sun striking his breast as he carefully surveyed for movement or sound across my flower beds and across the dormant garden beds lying far below. He was patient and focused. He waited for quite some time before flying to the west in search of a better food market. I was hoping he would spot a mole or two or perhaps one of the small gray field mice that tend to find their way into my basement and chew through boxes for bird seed.
This hawk looks like a juvenile and since the photo (snapped through a double-paned glass window) is not very good even when tweaked, I could not identify him. You can click on photo for a closer look. I always have hope that someday I could sneak up on one of these hawk-eyed beauties outside and that is what makes me look forward to each winter day. Next time I will try to get the red tail (if he has one.) They live for an average of 21 years, so I have some time to capture this resident for my photo archive.