Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana, an old friend once told me.
How can it be December 13 already?!
Nature gave me a gift this morning: a close-up Cooper’s hawk in my front yard, reeling back from a missed strike inside the branches of a tall arborvitae in my front yard. I disdain my new, rental yard for having too much mowed grass and too few weeds, but I gotta give it credit for having plenty of cover for birds in the form of evergreens.
In the front yard, in addition to that tall arborvitae, there are several smaller shrubs, also arborvitae I think. And in the back is a massive, berry-laden holly tree. Both provide shelter and security for the little songbirds that visit my feeders. Day and night, they are full of birds, invisible, but noisy.
Just two nights ago as I was walking past the arborvitae towards my front door, my footsteps disturbed a mourning dove tucked inside. They have a distinctive sound when they move around, so I’m certain that’s what it was, even though I never saw it.
This morning, that Coop was pulling back from the very spot where I had heard the dove, but with empty talons. It flew into a snag across the street and perched in the warming, low-angled sunshine, where I got a great look at it, all fluffed up in the frigid dawn air.
I’m grateful to have evergreens—year round cover for birds—in my yard.
About the Author
Dawn Hewitt is the managing editor for Bird Watcher's Digest and Watching Backyard Birds. She has been watching birds since 1979, and wrote a weekly birding column for The Herald Times newspaper in Bloomington, Indiana, for 11 years.