And a redtail it was, a true albino as far as I could tell, pale beak and pale blue or perhaps even a pink eye, not a mark on it. What a sight, what a heart-soaring, breath stopping sight it was.
I hereby apologize to all the people who've called and written me over the years to tell me about albino hummingbirds, redtails, cardinals, blue jays, expecting that I would jump in the car forthwith and come see them, too. If I have seemed a bit bored with it all, rather non-commital and unimpressed, I was not now. I was shot through with lightning, as you were upon seeing your special sign bird.
It was not my leucistic turkey vulture, the one dear Charlie Macaw spotted for me so many years ago, the same one I saw again the next summer in Woodsfield. But it was something, something searingly beautiful, transformative, a vision, a bolt from the blue.