Fine feathered friends

Even though I live less than 10 minutes from downtown Seattle, I still have a sweet chunk of nature literally at my doorstep. Seattle is hilly and keeps green belts and green spaces in the hills to keep them intact. My house backs into a designated green space and is partially surrounded by beautiful tall trees. There is a walking trail through the green space and this time of year all the beautiful Fall colors are on display. With all these trees come wildlife. I wake up to the sounds of birds every morning. Many species… Crows, robins, blue jays, woodpeckers are regulars and more than occasionally you get Hawks and Bald Eagles cruising over our green space to look for a tasty bite.

I am a novice ornithologist but I have always loved birds! For some reason I feel connected to them, I often dream in flight and have many close encounters with many species including hawks and bald eagles, which are my favorites! I have a Phoenix (mythologically considered to be “King of the Birds”) tattooed on my arm. Living where I live, birds often hang out on the railing of my deck and always in the surrounding trees.

I watch and listen to the birds all the time and have gotten to know their sounds. You can always tell when there is a predator around. The birds go crazy! The crows and jays start squawking in a super aggressive manner, loud and repetitive. I always know when to run outside and check out what’s going on and I almost always catch hawks and eagles fly right over my house. Over the weekend a big beautiful Red Tailed Hawk landed in my next door neighbor’s tree.  It was a plump hawk, majestically sitting in the tree while 6 or 7 crows incessantly dive bombed him. He never flinched or tried to escape once. He just calmly enjoyed his perch while crows were coming at him from every angle. This went on for several minutes. When he finally did fly away, he didn’t go far. He flew from that branch directly across my bedroom window to a tree to my other neighbor’s yard. He gracefully glided down, wings fully stretched, crows screaming and dive bombing him. He hung out in the next tree, again for several minutes, same scenario. He was completely unfazed by the many calculated attacks the little army would spring on him. When he finally flew away, he did with such nobility and ease, all the while being attacked. My husband and I watched in awe the entire time.

My husband said,” No matter where eagles and hawks go, they are always under attack. Every time they fly, other weaker birds are constantly harassing and attacking them.” We talked about how this was true with humans. When people try to do better or rise above their current situation. There is always some “weaker” version of the species trying to hold that person down.  Ever hear the term Crabs in a bucket ?

There is much to be learned from our animal friends. That day, that hawk reminded me that no matter who tries to attack me or hold me back as I try to do better and be better in this world, to stand majestic, graceful and unfazed. To just keep flying. Fly so high those crows can’t reach you.

Thank you Hawk and Crow for that important reminder.