A few days shy of Halloween, near the corner of Market and Riviera (just down from Windward Circle), I spied a stalwart hawk. Descending out of nowhere, the mighty hunter grazed my abruptly expanded aura, then swooped back into the trees. The hawk was evading several tempestuous scavengers, attempting to chase the bird of prey from previously proclaimed territory.
In Chicago a number of years ago, I witnessed a hawk snatch up a fowl, while the little thing fed on the ground. The predator landed on a tree limb, its meal yet alive, gripped by talons, helpless, knowing it was going to die…The way those tiny black eyes darted – in terror and confusion – pierced me with an eerie, sinister feeling that I will never forget.
Battling a gang of crows, our Venice Hawk appeared more majestic than the Chicago Killer. A physically superb, avian construction, the hawk was built to seize live prey with speed and stealth. Contrastingly, crows are made for falling out of trees onto dead carcasses and munching decaying flesh.
Upon tremendous agility and grace, the outnumbered hawk flew with far greater precision than its greasy-feathered pursuers, plunging rather close to the ground, then effortlessly ascending in a steep trajectory. Determined and menacing as they were, the crows seemed ungainly and awkward, unable to keep pace, like demons charging out of bad dreams into the light. Confident the hunter would triumph, I left them to the final battle.
The next day, I discovered a cleanly beheaded kestral beneath the very same trees. Though lacking sufficient evidence, there is not a doubt in my mind as to who was responsible.
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