When I was a child, my friends and I loved flying kites. Each of us had our favorite design; mine was a soaring hawk. I would look up at my kite, high in the sky, and dream of one day seeing a real hawk, not one printed on clear plastic.
Since then, I have seen many large birds soaring, most notably vultures like these Turkey Vultures. It is easy to forget how large they are, until we see them sitting somewhere and realize their actual size! And while they may not look terribly elegant on the ground, it’s wonderful to watch them riding the wind.
Where I live now we have lots of Osprey, who stay closer to the ground to see fish in lakes and rivers and whose hunting techniques are fascinating to watch.
In fact, seeing these birds soar is no longer quite sufficient; getting close enough to watch them hunt, eat, take off and land, even sleep is much more interesting for me now.
In fact, what could be more exciting to see than owlets like these two!
Or watching this Golden Eagle take off and seeing a Northern Harrier hunt rodents low above the ground!
My childhood dream of seeing a hawk in real life has come true in ways I never expected. Decades later, I still stop and watch every bird of prey, pelican, or heron I see.
Even a humble Cattle Egret!