• A mourning hawk?

    I’m no Lady Hawk and have no explanation for what happened. The other day I drove up to the home where I had my close encounter with the friendly coyotes. This time I parked my car at the edge of the driveway. I walked around the back of the vehicle and this hawk came flying overhead, screeching loudly. It landed on a tall tree on the opposite side of the road, still screaming, a soulful scream. The only person around, I couldn’t understand what the magnificent bird tried to tell me. Then by the property low wall I spotted what appeared to be remains of a large bird.

    A hawk? Its mate? Poor thing.

    I don’t know if this is the same couple of hawks that always lived on the old trees on the back of the lot but I had to do something. I found an empty box in my trunk, used some tissues to collect the feathers and such, put everything in the box. Waved at the crying hawk and left, taking the box with me. That was about as much respect I could show.

    I went back two days later to meet a client. We stood next to the mailbox, here comes the screaming bird, plops itself on the light pole above us and screeches the whole time. It broke my heart. Maybe he hoped I’d return a healed bird?

    And the story continued.

    The last time I went back, alone, I got out of the car, headed to the trunk. Out of nowhere comes this huge bird and practically dives straight toward me. It came so close to my head I could see the different colors of the feathers under its wings. And then just as quickly it flew off with a long screech…

    Maybe its way of saying thank you and goodbye???

    What do you think?

2 Responsesso far.

  1. Jeannie says:

    Who knows what the hawk thought or might have been trying to say? We humans are often too quick to anthropomorphize animals. Still, I have no doubt it was mourning for its lost mate, though, since some kinds of hawks usually mate for life and do not take on another one unless the one dies.

    I had a similar experience a couple, three decades ago when I was standing across the street from my parents’ home (not far from where you live now) and I felt a slight breeze an instant after an owl had just passed inches over my head from behind. I knew they were silent flyers but, still, it was eerie how quiet this one had been; I never head a thing. Even stranger, this was in broad daylight about an hour before sunset.

    Even further back in time, I was night fishing on the bank of upper Bartlett Lake when I heard an eerie cry a few dozen yards to my left. I soon saw a wake on the water circling from the left to a couple dozen yards in front of me circling back to the shore a couple of dozen yards to my right, followed by the eerie cry. Whatever it was kept circling me on the lake in front of me, diving into the water when I tried to train a flashlight on it, for much of the night. With only the moon for light, it was downright spooky.

    The next day, after I got back home, I read in the newspaper that one of a pair of otters that had been released into the wild on the Verde River somewhere upstream of Bartlett and Horseshoe Lakes had been found killed by a vehicle on a highway. My SWAG (Scientific Wild A** Guess) was I had encountered the mate of the dead otter and its cries were because it was mourning its mate. Why it was circling me that night is anyone’s guess.

  2. Jeanne Wright says:

    That was so sweet of you to take care of the dead hawk. It would have been a constant reminder of the living one and who knows what predators would have destroyed the corpse.

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