Friday, February 26, 2016

In Which We Hum “Hawk Child in the City”

The context shot--bird of prey on symbol of praying.

A bit of a cool, gray late February Friday morning—not that I’m complaining. Unlike the harsh winter several years ago where a super-cold February was followed by a super-cold March, the seasons seem to be turning this year, and a slightly cool, cloudy morning ride isn’t a bad thing for a city biker.

At least I don’t have to bother with the long underwear—it’s not that cold anymore.

So I biked to campus and decided to scale the hill by going up Mercy Drive. If I’m not in a super hurry I take this route; it’s a good hill to ride for RAGBRAI practice. I arrived, breathless, heart pounding as usual, and started to cross the Rohde Plaza in front of the U Center.

And then I saw it, sitting atop the cupola of Warde Hall.

I zoom in. Hawk is atop 5-story building and hangs out like it just doesn't care. I guess I"m too big to eat.

An Iowa Hawk, not from the big U to the south, but from the sky. I didn’t know how long it would sit there, so I started to shoot some photos with my little camera from ridiculously far away, but it just sat there as I cycle closer to Warde Hall.

It was facing away from me, so I decided to circle around to the front for a better view—and there it was, a second hawk. I had decided to leave my Nikon at home this morning—I might bring it back to campus tonight for Vegas night—and I wished I had it, because I would have liked to capture hawk two in flight. The second hawk, more skittish then the first, roosted briefly in a pine tree in front of the building.

Hawk 2 in tree.

I snapped away, and then the second hawk flew away, but hawk one maintained its perch atop the copula.

Well, it’s nice to see some birds of prey at MMU again. Will the summer be filled with screams of young birds once more? Will Warde Hall be guarded by a stern looking juvenile, as it was for a good part of last year? I don’t know, but I did enjoy the nice dinosaur punctuation to the end of my morning ride.

Two views after I park Francis--back of hawk has more colorful feathers, and it looks like there might be a nest there at the base of the copula. Welcome back, hawk pair.

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