|Singing Wings - Singing Wings|
Do you think we'll see the Hawk-Owl Dad?" That was the first question from my son Jordan the morning of the Pine County CBC. He was referring to a Northern Hawk Owl that had been seen regularly within that count area, and obviously had this unique possibility in the forefront of his mind. He was not alone. His older brother Luke, his Dad, and his Grandpa were all wondering the same thing as we ate our breakfast on the way to meet the rest of the crew.Though the territory assigned to us was not the same area as where the owl was being seen, I assured them we would be able to take a quick stop in that area after lunch. Our morning started out better than could be expected; with enthusiasm high, and unique birds like Hoary Redpoll and Pine Grosbeak keeping us company. A walk through the woods provided these prairie-raised boys with other unique experiences; those of hearing the soft, steady sound of wind rushing through the pines, of being far from traveled roads, and of studying wolf tracks in the snow.
After lunch - as promised - we went to the area where the Hawk-Owl had been seen. Scanning the tree tops for any sign of movement all eyes were peeled in anticipatory silence. "Is that it?" I heard from the seat behind me. The bird was far off, but our hunch told us yes, and we set up the scope in the biting wind for a look. The Hawk-Owl was active, and very cooperative; giving all of us excellent time to peer into those yellow eyes on that stern-looking face.
We watched in awed silence.
My boys might not ever become birders - a possibility that does not bother, nor concern me. Their awe in view of nature - from wolf tracks to pine trees to rare owls - gives me hope that a new generation is being prepared to appreciate the beauty, diversity, and delicacy of our Earth. Their enjoyment of nature in the company their grandpa gave him an irreplaceable memory. And their willingness to spend time with me creating these memories reassures me that any time spent with my kids is time well spent.
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|Wing Bars and Tail Shape|
|Look for details on the bird's body, wings, and tail. Keep an eye out for wing bars, color patches, and markings on the bird's body, and describe the tail shape in flight.|