Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Red-Shouldered Hawk: Third Time Is a Charm


Today I took my two large dogs for a walk downstream on Marsh Creek (here in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania). I always see these "water walks" as mystical because of the many birds we see, including Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets. But today, as we entered the creek we were greeted by a Red-Shouldered Hawk. Maybe "greeted" isn't the best word as he severely scolded up before flying away from the snag (a dead tree) from which he was fishing. Yes, fishing. Though small mammals are the meal choice of this hawk, it will take a fish if it can. Why else would red-shoulders hang out in riparian environments?

NOTE: Hawk pictured her is my photograph but not from today's sighting. 

Despite our rude reception by the hawk, who flew off, I knew that today's walk would be magical. The hawk seemed to promise us a lively reception down creek. At so it was. We heard and/or saw many house wrens, red-winged black birds, catbirds, crows, flycatchers, one solitary male mallard, and many others. But what most surprised me was that on our return trip up creek as we neared our exit location, who should be waiting for us? You guessed it--the Red-Shouldered Hawk!

More amazing still, as we climbed from the creek bank and through the road-side vegetation to access the quiet, No Outlet road, who do you think would provide us one last look . . . this time flying through the sky in the near distance?

I don't know if you believe in "signs" or omens, but I definitely do! And these three encounters with the Red-Shouldered Hawk was nothing less than a mystical charm.

If you'd like to learn more about me, an author who writes fictional stories featuring bird themes, check out my web site:


Until next time . . . keep birds in your heart!

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