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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Feb 14, 2010


The second hawk I truly noticed, that inexplicably captured my full and undivided attention, is what truly fed the beginnings of my desire for birdwatching.  This special Hawk had the ability to fire up my imagination and stir up all my latent creative instincts.  I wanted more than anything to be able to sketch him, perched as he was on a light post near the overpass at the freeway crossing.  To this day I really don't know why I noticed him. I  have seen, and still do see other Hawks at this particular freeway, near a transit station that I use quite often.  Back then I admired them briefly but, for the most part, I gave them no second thoughts.

This bird, a large juvenile Goshawk, was different somehow.  It looked me straight in the eye, and maybe that did it.  It was almost like a demand, or a calling.  Like he took note of me in particular.  To me, at the time, he seemed larger than life and was my sole focus while everything else faded away.  I remember every detail from his aggressive stance, to the clearly defined eyebrow above eyes that had not yet matured to their red coloring.  The Goshawk was leaning slightly forward on very powerful legs, focused intently on me.  His chest feathers were pale with dark streaks flowing in all directions down  his belly and legs.  I sensed power and intelligence, and something else I can't quite define.   It was an introduction, yet a totally silent exchange.  Another magic moment drawing me toward another path in life and new discoveries.

When I got home I immediately got on the internet to find out what I could about this bird, the next day found me walking along the hill next to the freeway in hopes of sighting him again.   And that was the beginning.  Soon I had  to have binoculars to identify individual hawks and then a camera to catch images that I could  later sketch.  Sketching became a new hobby along with birdwatching.  My rewards were relaxation, excitement, discovery, joy and a type of fulfillment I couldn't find in my everyday life. This had the effect of bringing back memories of my childhood explorations, and more importantly, my need to know about nature and wildlife, to learn and grow. This Goshawk had somehow become my  teacher, instructing me in what I no longer knew that I needed, and much, much more.

I have only caught brief glimpses of the Goshawk since then, and very infrequently.  They are not city birds, preferring the forest to hunt in.  They are very aggressive birds, and will attack if you get too close to their nest according to everything I have learned.  The adults are easily identified, with a gray back and long, barred tail.  Their eye color ranges from dark orange to red.  Their diet consists of birds such as grouse and pigeon, rabbits and other rodents.  The female is much larger than the male. If you wish to see pictures of this bird or simply to know more about it follow these links:



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