Tampa Homebody

Red-Shouldered Hawk Stops by for a Visit

– Posted in: Gardening, Tips, Thrills & Tales
Florida Hawk

It was about this same time last year that an Anole moved in next door. This year I have a new fine-feathered friend; however, it appears he has not officially moved in.  From the looks of things, he is just “scouting” out the neighborhood.  A wise move, indeed, before investing in real estate – or, is he simply looking for lunch?

This creature literally took my breath away.  My heart was beating so fast, and so loud, that I thought my feathered friend would even hear it.  It was a magical moment.  The birds were singing, the air was clear, and the hawk’s white breast feathers would dance ever so slightly with each brush of wind that came his way.

Tampa HawkMy husband first spotted him from our driveway.  I immediately took out my cell phone to try and take a photo; I knew I did not have enough time to run into the house and get my regular camera.  I had to walk – step by step – for several yards before reaching him.  I did not go unnoticed to him; hence, I walked every so cautiously.  He looked right at me and seemed to know I meant no harm.  When I looked into those big eyes, I realized something.  Yes, he was beautiful; however, he was also a bird of prey.  I was frozen once again, this time from a pound of fear.  I told myself,  “be careful, be respectful … grab your photo and get out of here.”  With disbelief that this magnificant bird let me get so close, I thanked him (ever so quietly) and took baby steps backwards until I reached a safe haven.  I never turned my back on him.

Birdhouse AlleyOur Florida Hawk  appeared to be drawn to a particular neighborhood – Birdhouse Alley. After going on a tour of the area, I believe he soon realized that the homes in this community were a bit too small for the needs of he and his family.  One attribute of the neighborhood he did like were the aerial views – a bird’s eye view, if you will.

He is so amazingly camouflaged with nature, that one can hardly see him perched in front of the Oak tree.  Look closely – he is there … no wonder they excel at being such stealth birds of prey.  Mother Nature has earned my respect, once again.

Hours later – after I regained my composure, I went online to search for pictures of Florida birds of prey.  Much to my surprise, I think I captured a beautiful image of a Red-Shouldered Hawk.  Our friend, who is still nameless at this moment, comes back to visit on a recurring basis.  My husband and I greet him with open arms and an enormous amount of respect.  After a relaxing visit – he always bids farewell, with a promise to return again soon.  With the wind beneath his massive wings, he leaps up and soars into our beautiful blue skies of Tampa Bay.  It is, quite simply, a moment of pure joy.

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