Falcons, Herons and Owls

Cooper's hawk sitting in a tree with a bright sky blue background

A couple of days ago, there was a big ruckus outside our house and I jumped out of bed to see what was going on.  I didn’t find the source of the noise, but I did see a falcon** standing in the waterfall of our koi pond.  I watched him for a long time before opening the door to count the koi.  That might seem a little OCD, but a couple of years ago something ate half of our koi, which at the time amounted to about 6 or 7.  

A few months later, I saw the heron from our bedroom window but didn’t have my cell on me or I would’ve taken a pic.  No one believed me. We eventually had confirmation it was a heron by way of our dog sitter overhearing one of our neighbors talking about a heron in their yard! She had a long ol’ conversation with her about it.

At any rate, I wanted to make sure the poor koi didn’t have more predators hanging around our house.  All clear, I went back to bed.

It’s the middle of the day and I’m not feeling well and sometimes when I’m sick strange bits of my past float back into my consciousness.  I began to think about when I was pregnant with Monkey and I was so incredibly upset about the burrowing owls. 

There was an huge article in the paper about burrowing owls whose habitat was being destroyed by developers up in the Cave Creek area.  The developers were not paying attention to these nests or having the birds relocated, they were just mowing over their homes and building.  A woman who lived in the area described watching these owls come back to their nests, unable to find them, looking lost and terribly confused. 

I WAS HORRIFIED! 

Animal stories always get to me, but especially when it deals with moms and their babies.  Don’t even talk to me about the practice of separating moms from their newly delivered babies or animals suckling their babies through a grate.  To top it off I was hormonal and every story seemed to upset me.  I remember telling Chief that night about the story I read in the paper and how awful I thought this was and getting very teary and emotional while relaying it to him.  I think he chalked it up to hormones and that was about it. 

Until the following week…

I went to the front door to let the dogs out and I saw an owl standing on our water fountain, which at the time was still on our front porch.  The owl was looking right at me (we have a window to the right of the front door).  Even the dogs stood so very still while we all looked in awe at this oddity which was staring us right in the face. 

I quietly called Chief. 

When he saw the three of us standing silently, looking out the window, he wondered what in the world would make the dogs so eerily quiet–they were that seldom quiet.  He was amazed by this bird, too. 

When it finally flew away all I could say is, “It’s a sign!  It’s a sign!  Remember that article about the owls, it’s a sign!  I’m supposed to do something about it.” 

Yes, I finally let the dogs out and yes, Chief thought I was nuts.  I was probably 7 months pregnant at the time. 

I went as far as to sign up for the Wild at Heart emails, which had info on events when you could offer help either digging new homes for these owls or transporting them.  I even offered to transport one when Monkey was about year old, but they had enough volunteers.  That was the end of that for a while because as toddlers they’d get in the way.  I still get the emails, but I haven’t read them in a while. 

Lame, I know. 

I could probably start looking at them because the boys are old enough that I could take both of them with me.  Digging and excavating is right up Chia’s alley.  Not Monkey’s favorite thing to do, however. 

We’ll see.

**I’ve updated this to say that the “falcon” was probably a Cooper’s hawk, but we’ll never really know as this was written over a decade ago.

Give me a shoutout! 🤠

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