One of the sounds that I’ve been noticing a lot as I walk the labyrinth, is this screeing of a hawk of some sort. Yesterday when I was walking, I could hear one hawk calling from far away, and other one that appeared to be answering from a tree just above me.
This morning as I was driving down my lane to head to the gym, I heard that same scree, quite close to me. So I stopped the car (yes, in the middle of the lane, it’s the country. . .) and looking around, found the bird on a dead tree that’s become a local woodpecker granary. I back up the car, stopping when I’m parallel to the bird and roll down my window. The whole time the bird is hollering away. “Keer keer keer keer keer keer!”
I fumble for my phone and get it up in time to take this picture. I don’t know what kind of hawk it is. I’ve heard from Jon Young (author of What The Robin Knows), who happens to live just down the lane from me, that we’ve got a Cooper’s hawk on the lane, so it could be a Cooper’s Hawk. I’m pretty sure it’s a juvenile, because I think what I’ve been hearing is actually juvenile begging. But, again, I’m a newbie and really have no idea. I’m going on what I’ve been reading in Jon’s book, and the little bit I absorbed from the Women’s Tracking Days event that I went to three weeks ago.
Today, as I’m walking, I hear the keer keer keer, over and over again. And this time, nobody is returning the bird’s call. So it gets more and more plaintive sounding. Through most of my walk, the keer keer continues. And then, just when I’m almost finished it stops. I continue walking and realize that I’m missing my Pygmy Nuthatches and really want to see them, when I hear a ruckus from afar. It’s them!
They’re chattering away in the trees, fluttering from branch to branch and then tree hopping until they’re just over my head! As I step out of the labyrinth onto the heart stone, the first one flutters down to the water fountain. So I get to stand there and bask in the chattering and the fluttering and the bathing and the drinking.
All of a sudden I hear their alarm call just above my head and I look up. One of them is hopping on a branch directly above my head and calling! I looked up and the bird looked at me (turning its head so that one of its eyes is pointed right at me). What a sweet moment! The bird chirps a few more times and then flies down to the fountain and hops around the edge before dipping in for a sip.
I stood there for five minutes watching them, listening to them, being utterly entranced by them.