Yesterday morning brought a red-tailed hawk close to the bird feeders. Only when her head swiveled to and fro and when she repositioned herself on the sapling was she brought to life. It seemed she was willing to risk detection at a chance to eat a warm meal. Perhaps she preferred an unsuccessful hunt to quiet starvation through giving up.
The other birds visiting the feeder played oblivious to her presence. It seemed they preferred a quick death to one of slow starvation in the bitter cold.
Warm behind glass
The watcher reads bird brains while
Life and death play
This morning, sitting in my same watching perch, I saw the usual queue in the tree, waiting their revolving turns at the feeders. The temperature must have been low; the snow made just the right brightness in the sky. The male cardinals were puffed out and their plumage was glowing with a vibrance akin to neon.
At first I thought of constructing a poem where the birds were bright ornaments in a Christmas tree. The realization that the tree I see them sit in from my perch is an apple tree shifted the plan.
White flaked suns fall on
Winter’s fruit, red feathered dots –
Bright fluff, bare branches.