Saturday, September 20, 2014


I spent some time hawk watching over the last couple of weeks. The top photo is a field in West Hartland where Paul Carrier hosts an annual Hawkwatch for the Hartford Audubon. There is a Hartland, East Hartland, and West Hartland CT. The population of all 3 towns put together can't be more than 2 or 3 thousand so it's kind of funny that they had to break it up into 3 towns.  
The day I attended there was a forecast for rain and the sky was mostly cloudy. That didn't stop the broadwings though. I saw about 500 before I had to leave at about 11am and they had a total exceeding 1,000 before the day was done. The biggest kettle I saw was about 150 hawks altogether.
I like seeing the light- colored juveniles against a bright blue sky. I was surprised to find out that red-tails are actually on the decline. Who would figure? I see them everywhere I go, especially on the top of the street lights on my way to work.
As I was hawk-watching in my backyard a couple of thoughts came to mind. One of those thoughts was that the sky is big. People have cathedral ceilings in their homes because it gives the room a greater sense of space. Rooms seem larger than they really are. 

Every day as we drive around we feel confined by the traffic and man-made structures around us but we should never forget what is above us. While sitting in my backyard searching  for hawks it occurred to me that we all have free access to the largest cathedral ceiling in the universe......the sky. All we have to do is look up!
Another hawkapiphany I had was that I have underrated my backyard as a birding spot. I've seen such a variety of birds over the years in my yard or flying above my house; Evening Grosbeaks, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, American kestrels, Peregrine Falcons, Red-shouldered Hawks, kettles of broad-wings, hummingbirds, Osprey, Snow Geese, Brown Creepers, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, ----and--I'm thinking the hawk in the hawk in the photo  with the owl-like face and the white rump patch is a Northern Harrier. What do you think? 
We also get plenty of Bald Eagles throughout the year. One thing for sure is that there's no mistaking an adult Bald Eagle!

So what does the word hawkapiphany mean? It's just some word I made up. It sounds like a a mythological god using a combination of hawk and and the word epiphany. I like making up silly words for the fun of it because they sound good at the time. Then I leave it up to others to figure out what the meaning of it might be.

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