A bird story today, but not about this friendly little pair, appropriate though they may be for the holiday. I was a few feet away from them, standing in the kitchen, when I caught a flurry of action out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look and saw a large bird pulling itself out of the ninebark bush near my bird feeder. It flew up to the clothesline pole and perched there, straightening the feathers on its ruddy breast. I am guessing a Cooper's hawk, since I know there are some on campus.
Apparently it had gone after one of the small birds at the feeder, who cleverly dashed into the bush and then got away safely. I grabbed the camera and went into my study -- the hawk was perched just outside the study window. But no photo -- it gave itself a good shake and flew off just as I got there.
A magnificent sight, though I had mixed feelings about it. A glimpse of the perky black cap of a chickadee or the gray tuft of a titmouse is a always a quick touch of delight, but then all they are eating is sunflower seeds. Okay, a hawk has to eat, just like everything else, cycle of life and all that. But somehow that is easier for me to live with when the food is just seeds, and not the other regular visitors at my feeder.
Something to ponder though -- why should a hawk's wings be any less meaningful than an eagle's? Can I see something of God in the soaring flight of a hawk?
How about in the strong beak of a woodpecker? Here's another very occasional visitor -- he showed up for a day or two in December, his red head shimmering in the light as he feasted on suet. A red-bellied woodpecker, a name that makes no sense to me, when the only red I see is on his head.
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"