I have developed a malady that unfortunately is rampant in my line of hobby. It’s kind of like carpal tunnel syndrome in the respect that it is exacerbated by repeated motions. My repeated motion is going out in my back yard to observe the nest of red shouldered hawks and my condition is called “Hawk Neck.” At least that’s what I call it.
Recently I noticed a nagging pain in my neck and upper back, which I attributed to the fact that I am in my fifties. Then it dawned on me as I was holding my head back far enough to rest it on my back while peering through binoculars to the very tippy top of our oak tree to watch the hawk family. Ouch. Do you know that those babies can stay in the nest for forty days? That’s forty days times a couple of times a day checking to see if I can view the babies. That equals quite a pain in the neck.
My brilliant daughter-in-law, Aubyron, gave me something to crow about when she solved that issue over the weekend. She just stretched out on the grass to view the birdies. I took it up a notch by taking the cushion from our porch furniture out to the lawn, plopping a pillow down and reclining there. Perfect! Why I didn’t do that sooner is beyond me. Now everybody is doing it.
And speaking of crowing about something, I was excited to share this new idea with my grandkids, especially Ella, my six-and-three-quarter year old granddaughter and fellow birder. (Ella insists on being specific about her age – I guess she is learning fractions.) But little did I know that Ella was having a birding adventure of her own.
On Saturday Ella found a baby bird and decided to put it in their garage. She is quite resourceful and took two buckets to make her bird’s home. She placed the bird in one and covered it with the other. Being 6 ¾, she did not think through the necessity of telling her parents and just continued doing whatever she was doing before bringing home her house guest.
Later, her dad (Derek) came out in the garage and asked Ella what was in the buckets.
“Oh, it’s just a baby bird I found.”
“What kind of bird, Ella?”
“A crow. It was hurt and couldn’t fly so I picked it up and brought it home to take care of it.”
While Derek was telling her how sweet that was, he pulled the top bucket off to reveal a full-grown crow, complete with a large cancerous looking growth protruding from the side of its head. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to see his face. Actually I imagine there were quite a few flies gathering on the walls as who knows how long that crow had been in the hot garage, suffering with an oozy, nasty looking nodule, waiting to die of starvation or heat stroke.
Derek went on to explain that the crow could not fly because it was very sick and they would have to let it go for nature to take its course. Ella would not be satisfied with a brief description, so he explained that course could be in the form of a hawk, a cat, a dog, or some other animal. This didn’t bother Ella one iota. She seemed pretty unaffected by the circle of life. Besides, there’s always another bird waiting for her to rescue it. This was the third one she had found in as many weeks.