Date: 6/9/20 7:10 am From: Ruth Coppersmith <coppersmithruth...> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] June 9, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
Appreciate your detailed description of the goshawk. I can just picture her.
Sent from my iPhone
> On Jun 9, 2020, at 9:59 AM, Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> wrote:
> 5:05 a.m. 51 degrees, wind E 2 mph. Sky: thinly overcast with highlights; a
> light drizzle. I enter wet woods on the eastern rim of Coyote Hollow and
> walk to the goshawk nest. Deep green shade without mosquitos. The female
> calls softly (softly for a goshawk, anyway). Sees me, calls louder, and
> then escorts me through the woods at a respectful distance, always just
> below the canopy. I stop. No action in the nest. Not even a visible
> shoulder. Have chicks fledged? Have they been predated, a serious reversal
> of fortune? Hard to tell. She settles on a pine limb hundred feet from the
> nest, continues admonishing me. We—the hawk, the nest, and I—form an
> equilateral triangle.
> She's exquisite. Fine-gray barring like scrimshaw on white undersides; back
> as dark as dusk. Cream-white undertail coverts, wet and splayed, hang
> around her legs like a mini-skirt, contrasting with a long black and gray
> striped tail . . . a rudder of sorts that permits breakneck turns. Goshawk
> never takes her red eyes off me. Stares me down. Head big capped in black.
> Face striped: black through the eyes, mask-like; white above. Throat like
> chest whitish and finely barred. Body tapered at both ends, thick in the
> middle, a well-muscled, football of a bird that flies like a fighter jet
> capable of turning on a dime, literally . . . forty-miles an hour around
> trunks and limbs.
> An unsheathed encounter: nervy blue jay, the epitome of *chutzpah*, calls,
> appears, torments the hawk. Sends her to another perch, and me to home
> considering my first delinquency of the day.