Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 44: Strange Fit

Scarborough Hill, Franklin Park, Jamaica Plain, MA, 6:45am-7:30am
clear, chilly

The sun pulled a fast one on me today.
6:45 am and it was already well above the horizon - weird considering I saw the full sunrise at 6:50 yesterday. I guess the location and relative height of horizon makes a big difference.

Need to keep better track of the sunrise times on this coast. A quick internet check reveals tomorrow's sunrise in Boston is at 6:33, while in San Francisco it's a leisurely 6:48. No wonder!

My missed-sunrise consolation was the immediate appearance of the Bird of the Day, some kind of hawk with a light-colored, spotted chest, darker wings, and whitish furry legs. I eagerly followed him across the golf course to a tree where he joined another hawk. When he took off from the tree he flew right over my head, just a yard or two above me. I got a good look at his belly spots.

I followed, running, right back to Scarborough Hill where we had started. The two hawks were flirting, or bickering (what's the difference, really?) and I was mesmerized by the "little bird chirps" one of them kept making. It was utterly incompatible to his goodly size and predator-looks, and the other hawk responded by flying over and pecking at him or nudging him.

Were the chirps a seduction ploy? Did they make the hawk more attractive, like an innocent, helpless prey? Or were the two in cahoots, trying to convince local birds that they were harmless?

The most likely explanation would be that there actually was a little bird, captured in one of their talons, cheeping for mercy or out of sheer terror, but I swear their talons were empty, and that I watched the hawk move his beak along with these chirps.

I never sorted it out- they eventually took off, and I lost them.

In my search for the hawks, another unusual call came through that I had to take.
We'll call it the Guest Bird of the Day, perhaps.

I've heard snatches of this bird before, but never this clearly. Was unable to get a sight on this one though.


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