Monday, February 9, 2009

Bird Love

Self realization #35: I love things in the sky.

The category 'things in the sky' includes but is not limited to: birds, stars, planets, satellites, bicycle shaped clouds, hot air balloons, comets, the moon, the sun, constellations, astronauts, zephyrs, siroccos, gales, hopes, dreams, ideas, radio waves, fireflies, runaway balloons, balls, and business men in cheap suits.

My cat Nikkita and I like to watch "the bird channel" in the mornings. The doughy mix on the table is homemade suet and it is not unusual to have an avian congregation of at least 3 dozen clamoring a few feet from my back door. Yes, those are two clementine crates fashioned into a bird feeder. I keep track of all of the species that visit, but my favorite is the Eastern Bluebirds who have now brought 3 sets of hatchlings' to my suet over the past year. I have gained a new regular, Atticus, a mockingbird in a dapper grey suit with crisp white French cuffs.

This weekend, my husband and I watched the night sky to see the space station fly overhead. We also spotted a shooting star together. Yesterday, it was close to 70 degrees, so we put out a picnic blanket in the back yard to process some much needed vitamin D. Suddenly an eerie chorus sang out. The cries were shrill and long, ending on a plaintive down note. You know the sound; Hollywood uses the red-tailed hawk call in every desert scene. I turned to look over my neighbor's roof and there were 8 hawks all floating on the thermal draft there. I have never seen more than two hawks at once and was wildly excited and thoroughly freaked out. They were directly over my neighbor's conspicuously yapping puppy after all. But they didn't swoop, they just soared, following each other for another hour.

I googled hawks hunting in packs, fully expecting to read an entry stating this was the Native American omen of the end of the world, when a tiny bit of info erased my worries immediately. The red-tailed hawk lays eggs from March to May. What I photographed was not a brutal hunt or sign of the Apocalypse. It was the raptor equivalent of speed dating. I hope my boys found nice girls to bring home. Love is in the air.


Rilana said...

My cats do the same thing. They twitter at the birds too, from my window. Great photos.

elizabeth said...

It must be mating season for the squirrels too - the amount of shenanigans going on in our backyard could have no other explanation!

Anonymous said...

I love that you watch birds. I remember watching them and talking to them with Grandma when I was little. Now that she is gone I seem to hear them everyday. They may have always been out there singing but I guess I stop to pay more attention now. A group of them actually woke me up the morning before her funeral. I like to think they are from her. Today I hung some roses in my window to dry that I took from her service. When I looked outside there were 2 birds looking back at me. It made me smile.
My mom got a letter from Kathy in Joliet that shared a story of her encounter with a great horned owl late on the night of the 31st (the day grandma died). She tells of how the Indians believed Owls came to take the deceased. Kathy believes Grandma was taking a good look at her old farm. I believe that too. I believe her words were something like "she was taking one last look at her farm and then took the 6:15 Owl to Heaven". It made me cry but smile at the same time.

Sandra said...


Left-Handed Housewife said...

I thought hawks on the wing en masse was a Native American omen for the *beginning* of the world. Come to think of it, I suppose it is, if we take Google to heart.

Oh, those business men in cheap suits. I love it when they take to the skies, their arms outstretched.

A most fabulous entry. More, please.


Mom said...

What a wonderful, adorable post. And I loved Katie's comments. They brought a tear to my eye!

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

I have such happy memories of bird watching with our nanny--she knew every bird in the back yard and seemed to have a personal relationship with every one..."oh those juncos are back!"..."well look at Mrs. Cardinal!". When my youngest daughter was smaller she had a notebook and kept a running tally of every bird she'd ever seen. So yeah, I totally get the bird thing.

Carmen said...

I, too, love all things in the sky. Great post!