Monday, June 11, 2007

running with Hawk's feather


In the early part of our run today I saw what I believe to be a Cooper’s Hawk fly across our path. I didn’t think too much about it at the time except that I’ve been noticing them a lot more lately. In the last several years they seem to be increasing in numbers here. I wonder if this is representative of some sort of shift in their territory or population size.

These are really beautiful birds. It seems that they hunt other birds. They zip horizontally through the trees and slam into their prey of smaller birds – pigeons/doves? When they hit their target there is an explosion of feathers. It’s quite an amazing site. I’m no ornithologist or anything so I could be misinterpreting what I’ve seen but most of this does seem to check out on the interweb.

And then we ran some more. This was the fourth day in a row that Hilary and I have run our bridge route. This was Hilary’s goal that I mentioned in an earlier post. And she made it. In fact, on two of those days we went considerably further than we’d planned. So congrats Hilary – now it’s time to start your own blog!

Today was one of the days that we pushed a little further. Just past the bridge, there’s another bridge, and as we passed under this second bridge I noticed a hawk’s feather. I think it may be a Cooper’s. Surrounding this feather were many smaller feathers from another bird. Perhaps this was the scene of predation.

So, I picked up this feather and carried it with me for several more miles. It felt great. I felt like it was giving me energy to move smoothly and lightly across the earth – almost like flying.

On the homeward stretch Hilary’s feet began to give her some trouble. We stopped at “The Fountain of Youth” to readjust shoes and get some water. The fountain of youth has the best water in the world – or, at least, it tastes that way in the middle of a long run; I wouldn’t dare drink it any other time. To inspire her on her way home, I handed Hilary the feather. She tucked it into her ponytail and immediately took off running – fast. In contrast, I suddenly felt enervated. I could barely find my stride or keep up. I’d lost my ability to fly.

After the run Hilary reported that as soon as she tucked that feather in her hair the pain in her foot went away and she felt a burst of energy that carried her the rest of the way home.

This was a good reminder for us that there’s a lot of power out there in the world that we often overlook. Thank you for joining us today Cooper’s Hawk. It was a great run.

Visit The Peregrine Fund for more information on birds of prey.

1 comment:

A Midnight Rider said...

Independent Lens, recently showed a special on the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. A really phenominal documentary. Quite a bit of hawk footage too. Might be up your alley.