I am so excited to introduce you to Hawthorne-- the hawk who visits me on occasion. I think this is a female but have named her Hawthorne because she is a Hawthorne. I suspect she is female because she's huge and female raptors are bigger than male raptors.
Isn't she gorgeous? Look at her! She was after a squirrel and I think I interrupted the hunt. She's not one bit scared of me. Unlike most hawks, she doesn't fly away when I go outside. I always face her, never turn my back, however, because, well, she's a hawk. She is massive. She is healthy. She is bold.
She stayed a while then flew off. Later, while I was shoveling, she flew across the pond, her eyes right on mine. (Hawks stare right into your eyes. It's kind of scary, but she knows I'm not scared of her.) I dropped my shovel and spread out my arms, "Hawthorne, you're back!" She landed on a branch near me and once again stared at me. I said, "You're welcome to a squirrel but I cannot witness it. The murder has to occur when I"m gone. OK?" She stared. She knows I'm talking to her and I think she kind of likes it.
Anyway, here she is, on my feeder, looking around and at me through the window. (Notice my window pictures. I have markers but they didn't work as well as they should, so I also put angry pictures. It kind of worked better than the markers. Not many bangs now. )
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) has been the foundation of migratory bird protection. It imposes penalties on corporations that do not take into account, as part of its environmental study, the impact of their actions upon migratory birds. The current administration has attempted to strip this act of its vital protections by eliminating penalties for all incidental injury. This means one would only have to prove they did not intend to kill birds. Give us a big fat break! Geez.
We've lost billions of birds and could lose up to 2/3 of our bird population due to global warming. This absurd rule change would of course lead to decisions that do not take into account impacts upon bird population. This is why a judge overruled it, recognizing its illegality and disregard for the spirit of the MBTA. So, now, determined, they're trying again-- in a rushed Final Environmental Impact Statement which minimizes the comment period. Please read this article and call your legislator to offer your support for the Migratory Bird Protection Act, a bill currently being considered which would protect the MBTA from this corrupt intervention.
Click on the picture below to read the article.
Before I jump into a discussion about blue jays, the stars of my upcoming novel, I'd like to first discuss their brilliant cousin --the great crow. I've posted a link to an interesting article about crows. This link takes you to the article, where you will find a Ted talk link within the document.
Most birders are interested only in rare birds. Or gorgeous birds with their fascinating, lively colors, and dance routines, and perfect nests. Corvids, particularly crows, are so abundant we all take them for granted. They're our scavengers. They are loud. They steal your food at barbecues when you turn your back. They swoop down and grab peanuts you've tossed for squirrels. Some people see a corvid's stubborn resolve as obnoxious--your basic pest. But do they have to be a pest?
This behavioralist asks the question--why can't we work with them, allow them to be our friends in nature.
They are well equipped to help us because crows, and blue jays for that matter, are easy to train. In fact, they can figure out complex tasks with no help as long as they are motivated. That's what this Ted Talk is about. Click on the picture
I like to write about people, animals, dogs. I enjoy ideas, good books about ideas, funny books about ideas, funny people who have ideas, advocates for people who don't have voices to express their ideas, and animals who have ideas we can't understand.