This past week I witnessed a pair of red tail hawks circling above The Bishop’s Ranch two times in two days. Now hawk sightings and more often hawk hearings, are not uncommon here but two days in a row made me stop and ponder their purpose. Both days I saw them flying near the aptly named Hawk Hill. They caught my attention the first day circling fairly low, low enough to see the lovely russet color of their tails glowing in the early afternoon sun. They rose slowly higher and higher toward the sun, catching the air thermals in their graceful dance. Had they been Icarus they would have surly fallen by now, so high they seemed to brush the very sun with their clever wings. I am not a hawk expert but I imagined they were hunting to feed their newly hatched young. I let myself imagine that the female had just then lifted her weight from the nest as she felt the tremor and cracking eggs below her warm body. I imagined the male leaving his guard station to climb the skies in search of food for his so to be hungry brood. But now they were simply enjoying the ride. Taking a well deserved break, as any parent of a young child can attest, a break from the greedy, squawking beaks they had waited so long to see. Now it seemed to me was pure joy, riding the air like few creatures of the earth can imagine, in turn with the wind, and unseen currents flowing around, above and below. This week I will watch the skies for this pair to reveal themselves again, to ponder how they fit into the puzzle of this place, and to perhaps, if I’m lucky, to feel the lifting warm air under my own wings and give myself permission to take flight.
In my internet wanderings I found a site a wonderful site with a live camera on a nesting pair of hawks in New York City. Their nest is on the window ledge on the 12th floor of an NYU administrative office. The female hawk has plastic tangle around her leg. Since I found the site on Friday I have been checking in daily the chicks just started hatching this weekend! Check it out: http://www.livestream.com/nytnestcam
I couldn’t get a decent photo of the hawks in flight here at The Bishop’s Ranch. Here is a link to the photo’s original source: http://www.komonews.com/news/photos/46326602.html