Spirit blessed me with my first Hawk sighting of the year today, January 1, 2021 (and before breakfast, no less)! I love Hawks. They are beautiful and majestic, but also a bit more down-to-earth than Eagles. Eagles soar high above everyone and everything, swooping lower only to grab something to eat. I never see Eagles perched atop city buildings. Eagles prefer the wilderness. But Hawks like living in proximity to people, and while they do like parks, they also seem to enjoy nesting on apartment buildings (Pale Male chose 5th Avenue Manhattan digs) and around institutions of higher learning. I often saw Hawks around Queens College, CUNY (my undergrad alma mater), and then later at Harvard in the trees between Memorial Church and Widener Library. Also at the University of Pennsylvania, I’ve seen them perched outside the windows on the sixth floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.
I also have frequent sightings from my top-floor apartment. Today, I was alerted to Hawk’s presence by Crow. “Hawk! Hawk! Hawk!”, I heard Crow cry as I was beginning my yoga routine. At first, I dismissed it, but then Crow repeated its alarm, so I went to my south-facing window, and watched Crow as it repeated the cry once more. It then left its perch atop a satellite dish. I quickly went to the westward-facing window, and there before me the drama played out: a Red-Tailed Hawk was winging its way eastward chased by another Crow. The alarm Crow joined the chase, poking Hawk on its back. The Hawk kept flying its course and quickly made its way to the top of a building two blocks away while the Crows likely perched atop my building feeling oh-so-good about themselves.
Crows like to present themselves as defenders of the songbirds—often birds such as Cardinal and Starling will join in sounding the alarm—but it’s so disingenuous of them. Crows are scavengers, and when not eating something that someone else has killed, they will steal other birds’ eggs. Many a time I’ve seen Mockingbird chasing away Crow in the same way that Crow chases away Hawk.
My New Year’s message from all this? Hawks are meant to soar, so be like Hawk—Fly high, remain focused on your goal, and don’t let the Crows get you down. Happy New Year, everyone!
And one more thing: Do check out my (and Madison’s) Madisonnet Time! calendar still on sale in our Zazzle store. It’s a whimsically poetic way for you or someone you love to pass the Time, and makes a perfect Unbirthday gift.