I watched with interest as the last of the sparrows stated its opinion and flew off leaving the hawk and I watching each other. He wasn't nervous about my presence and settled into a comfortable crouch continuing to observe me. How quickly they grow up I thought. My back deck still had remnants of the down he had pulled out as his adult feathers came in. Now, he sported the typical dark brown and cream plumage of a teen aged hawk.
He moved closer to me on his perch and his intelligent gold eyes met mine holding my gaze. It was almost like he was saying thank you and good bye. Then with a bob of his head he took flight into the darkening sky.
As annoying as it can be, especially in the early hours when I'm not ready to face the world yet, I find I miss the screeching of the chicks calling to their parents, begging for food.
I was blessed this year to observe one fledgling consuming a fresh mouse on my back deck. To see it take flight, learning to manipulate the currents with newly formed feathers. To see the passing of fresh caught prey from parent to fledgling in mid air.
Though this adult pair has been nesting next to my house for more than 5 years, this is the most up close observation I've experienced and am sad it is over for the year.
I said my good byes, wished him luck, and shed a sad tear.
Saturday while out tackling my thistle patch, I heard a familiar screech. There in the sky were three hawks, one adult and two adolescents circling overhead. What a beautiful sight, three hawks leisurely playing on the air currents looking for prey. I stood there watching until they were out of sight.
With a sigh I acknowledged that once again the passage of time is marked by the coming and going of another generation.
Life is good...