Monday, December 14, 2009

Birding or Burglerizing

We were running a few errands around town when we spotted a hawk. We quickly pulled over to watch. The kids noticed that the hawk was diving near a bush that had sparrows flitting in and out of it. We hoped to get to observe that behavior closer, so I pulled around a building and inched forward slowly (in our honkin' big suburban). It was pretty exciting. All of us were whispering (inside our honkin' big suburban). All of us were trying to be inconspicuous (in our honkin' big suburban).

As we poked forward from behind the building enough to see, I put it in park. The hawk was perched on top of the chimney, watching the shrubbery below. We were parked near a dumpster, watching the hawk above us.

After we had been there only a few minutes, a man was dropped off for work. As he walked into the building, he stared at us and (in the words of my children) gave us mean looks. I didn't worry about it. Less than a minute after that a woman with her arms crossed came out and peered our way. She kept peering. Finally she started walking towards us. The hawk flew away up into a tree.

I realized that we were not wanted.

I pulled forward to leave. As I did so, I rolled down the passenger window. I smiled and explained to her that the children and I were birding. We had been observing a hawk, but that he had flown away now so we would leave. She started smiling and looked for the hawk. She then explained that they often have people who use their dumpster without permission. She was checking to see we weren't doing that.

So... our first confrontation during birding. We never even left the (honkin' big) suburban and we still made a stir.


  1. We had some "mean looks" once while hawk watching. My dad stopped to photograph a hawk on top of his neighbor's roof. Only the neighbor and hubby were eating breakfast in the open picture window in the front of the house. And thought we were photographing them/their house for some reason. They did not know the hawk was on the roof. I still cringe and laugh at that memory; may your children carry this one for as long or longer, and with the same affection as I held onto mine.

  2. That is too funny! Who knew birding could be so controversial? :) Thanks for your comments on my blog about teaching textbooks, I will definitely look into it!