Hawk’s Nest, or What Else Have I Been Missing?

Hawk's Nest, or What Else Have I Been Missing?

A National Park Ranger once told a group she was leading, of which I was a part, that bird watching is all about peripheral vision. I agree to a large extent. I also believe that good listening skills are important.

It was peripheral vision, however, that brought this hawk’s nest to my attention. Walking through Memorial Park yesterday afternoon (Thursday May 1) I caught a glimpse of a large bird in flight directly ahead of me and up in the canopy. The leaves not being full yet, it was not difficult to spot this bird as it landed on this nest.

The bird is a red-tail hawk. These large hawks are common in northern New Jersey and have adapted quite well to the presence of humans in their territory. One of the more famous instances of this adaptation is the nest built by a pair of red-tail hawks on the decorative stonework of a luxury co-op building on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

The difficulty in writing this post is the acknowledgement that this is the first hawk’s nest that I have observed in our neighborhood in thirty years of living here. As noted in the previous paragraph, hawks are common in this area. With so many tall trees throughout the park and the surrounding neighborhoods, there is no doubt that many pairs of hawks have made nests in the area over the years. Why is this the first one I’ve observed?

Verlyn Klinkenborg, in Several Short Sentences about Writing includes a section on what he calls “noticing.” He writes that noticing “means thinking with all of your senses.” Noticing is essential to writing. I’ve fancied myself a writer for some time now. Hence this blog. I’m not sure I have sufficient observing or noticing skills for my writing efforts to be sustainable.

Please excuse a greater amount of introspection than usual, and a less-than-optimal photograph of the hawk on the nest. Thanks for stopping by.

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