He is the James Bond of hawks, beating the bushes for his breakfast, almost always getting his man.
He is not what most people would consider a welcome feeder bird, but he always makes me smile. I have spread this feast for him, and he gladly avails himself.
He is the king of the birds in our yard, a cruel despot in their eyes.
The traces of his presence are everywhere—in the dark flank of a cardinal, torn
In the odd posture of a nuthatch, injured
who I no longer see around
And there’s nothing I can do about it but stop feeding
But to do that would be to lose the flocks I love so well
and send him hungry into the cold woods.
Spring is here and I miss him. I haven't seen him for weeks. Bill saw him April 25, circling over the east half of our land. Perhaps he is mated to the beautiful female sharpshin I saw carry a small package into the valley over which he circled. I hope he stayed.
I hear sharpshins calling from where she disappeared, on my morel-hunting slope below the big pines. Perhaps I’ll see him again when we’re moving slowly through the leaves, searching for pale honeycombed heads. The first ones came up April 21. We're hoping the gentle rains and soft ground will bring many more.