Goshawk

In a tree just at the edge of the woods, just past our clothesline, not fifty feet from the house. I was in the cellar working on the table when Anne called me repeatedly, “There’s an osprey in a tree!” It’s a little early in the season for osprey; I wouldn’t expect them until the ice is out and they can catch fish, but there should be some around the lake. The bird sat still for several minutes. I looked out of the downstairs guest bedroom, which was the closest window in the house, and saw a mostly gray bird with a black and white face, plain gray tail. It didn’t really look like an osprey, but was about the right size for one. I thought, if it’s not an osprey, it’s a goshawk. When it turned and spread its wings to take off, I could see very faint red stripes on the breast. Anne looked up goshawk in the bird book and said, definitely. It was a super-close look at a bird that would have impressed even any non-birder. This was only the second one I’ve ever seen (except for things that I suspected were goshawks, but too far away to be sure), and the other was so far away that I only know it was one because I was with the Brookline Bird Club and people who knew and saw it closer had called it. Sorry, no picture, didn’t think of the camera until too late.

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