We made our second trip to visit the hawks featured on Cornell’s webcam on May 12. It was Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Migration Festival, and our family went to the lab to enjoy this opportunity to get a glimpse of all the many aspects of the Lab’s work. I’ll write more about it in another post.
After a full schedule of events there, we stopped by the hawk nesting site on Tower Road to see what we could see. Ezra (the male) was on the nest when we arrived, and Big Red (the female) was perched on a light tower across the athletic field from the nest.
We stayed for about 15 minutes, but that was all the time we had. As we started for the car, I saw Red flapping back toward the nest. I was not in the best position any longer, shooting toward the sun, but I snapped a few shots of the shift-change. Big Red was quite vocal when she returned to the tower, and Ezra didn’t wait long to dive off and head for a nearby light pole.
He seemed to consider for a few moments. Then he took off and sailed into the blue. He was aware of us but didn’t appear to be threatened at all.
It’s strangely stirring to see a hawk taking flight. Science can answer so many questions, but not all of them. In the end we’re one species observing another, separated by a gulf of differentness, but joined by a kind of respect and wonder in watching the strength and grace of that spiral into the sky.