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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Not So Lazy Circles In The Sky

My office is on the 6th (top) floor. Today about 5 pm I noticed the crows flying around in an agitated way. The reason? A group of falcons were dive bombing them. At first they were near the trees, whose tops came up to the 4th or 5th floor, then they gravitated over to the 4 story building a little ways away.

I believe I counted four falcons. I think they're the type known as Sparrow Hawk or American Kestrel. Most likely it is a family out for a fly with mom and dad and the folks just want to keep the big birds away.

Watching them is not unlike watching otters on a mission. At times playful, at times all business, they swoop and dive, soar and roll, coming to light on the building ridges or tree tops before taking off again.

I usually don't work this late. Makes me wonder what else I may be missing.

I know hawks are becoming more prevalent in this area. Bill and I watch for them when driving on the expressway. There are at least four different hawks that live about a quarter mile away from each other and that we often see perched on the tall light posts at the expressway exits. Bill has named them. I just like to watch.

We have seen Sparrow Hawks in the alley while sitting in the backyard. At the old house, I once saw one land on the bird feeder, sending a few dozen sparrows in all directions, as I sat on the back porch.

Of all the beautiful birds, we like the raptors best, especially the hawks. Dunno why. Maybe because when I was taking flamenco dancing lessons, our teacher told us our arms were meant to mimic the wings of a hawk. Or because, as cartoonist Gary Larson of The Far Side said, they know they're cool!

Quotable Quotes; in the category What He Said.

"The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim."
Sun Tzu