Thursday, August 16, 2007

Blakeman & the hawk that reads over the shoulder

All of us from time to time have entertained the thought of being, at least for a moment, a red-tailed hawk. How wonderful it would be to so effortlessly soar as these great birds do.
But from the photo, it appears that the converse may be true.
The photo shows the Central Park immature red-tail sitting on a park bench, perched next to a fellow reading the morning paper. The hawk appears to be emulating the human, at least for the moment.
Do New York red-tails look upon people below and wonder what it would be like to be able sit and read a newspaper? Is that a hidden, albeit momentary fantasy of theirs? If so, the hawk in the picture was trying its best fulfill the fantasy, to be like one of us.
Now, I think I've seen it all. My rural red-tails, were they to learn of this, would howl (well, scream) in laughter at this bird’s psychiatric propensities. Real red-tailed hawks don't sit on park benches. Must be something about New York City, or the pigeons or rats there.
Inexplicable. Will an NYC red-tail next be seen flying into Grand Central Station or a subway entrance at the start of migration?
–John Blakeman