Clarksburg, West Virginia, 22 November 2018.
Today was Thanksgiving in the United States, our annual harvest feast which we celebrate on the fourth Thursday of every November as a reminder that each of us needs to be grateful for the harvest, grateful for all that we have.
As we sat at the table finishing our meal, I happened to look out the window onto the patio. There’s a place on the patio where we put our bird feeders, and it is often crowded with seed-eating birds.
No one was visible.
Then I saw this guy sitting on the rail a couple of feet from the feeders.
Sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus) on the rail
I think it’s a male Sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus).
For a little while we just sat quietly, not wanting to scare him away. But we wanted to check the bird book, and when Lisa quietly got up to get it we realized that he wasn’t terribly concerned about our movement. He did watch us a bit, but he was much more interested in gazing out into the trees, or at the bird feeders, perhaps meditating sadly on the absence of birds and small rodents.
After a while he decided to move across the patio, stopping for a few minutes next to the bird feeders. Then, surprisingly, he suddenly flew from the rail to the patio furniture.
Sharp-shinned hawk in flight
He seemed to think that since we hadn’t filled the bird feeders with birds, he should just go sit at the table and wait. Maybe he was expecting his share of the Thanksgiving dinner.
Sharp-shinned hawk at the table
But we still didn’t provide him with a meal, so after a bit he just flew away. Well, not completely away. He sat for another ten minutes or so in a tree overlooking the feeders. I think he wants me to refill the feeders.