Saturday, February 07, 2009

"Not so cool for the robin"

Sometimes, timing is everything. Earlier this week, I was driving with Emma to go pick up Jack at his pre-school when Emma notices a large bird in the neighbor's yard as we drove past. "Dad, I think I just saw a hawk." I took a quick look over my shoulder, and sure enough, Em had spotted a magnificent Cooper's Hawk (note: I'm pretty sure it was a Cooper's and not a Sharp-shinned, but not 100%). Not only that, but Em had caught the raptor in the middle of a meal. We're not sure, but Em thinks the hawk was feasting on a robin. Feathers were flying everywhere. I slowly backed the car up and Em and I watched the hawk take apart the smaller bird - a natural spectacle in its rawest form.

After a few minutes we needed to get going so as not to be late picking up Jack. We were hoping that the hawk would still be there when we returned, but I knew that in the 15 or so minutes we would be gone, some dog/person/car would spook the hawk away. Unbelievably though, when we drove by on our way home, the hawk was still there, and the three of us sat and watched the hawk devour its dinner. When I commented on how cool it was to be seeing this, the kids agreed, but then Jack added, "But not so cool for the robin though." Poor robin. But I like to think that witnessing these sorts of real-life events helps the kids gain a better understanding and appreciation of the natural world. And that is really cool, robin's opinion notwithstanding.

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