It was a snow-covered, yet warm December morning. Mallard ducks gathered en masse, waiting for the human tender who fed them. The soft rustle of leaves revealed a mourning dove searching for seeds. People will gloves and cameras searched the woods and water for birds.
At the monthly Art in the Park, we had a station to make a cardinal collage and simple bird feeder. While the adults and I traded bird stories and discussed the impacts of climate change on bird migration, a family with a young boy approached. He was eager to do the craft, and excitedly cut out a bird bath and red “raindrop” shape to start his cardinal. He added his details with oil pastels and said it was the best art he ever made! The family made two tube seed feeders and decided to explore the trails to see what birds they might find. I don’t know what they saw, but that one mourning dove I had sighted had multiplied into 14, roosting in a tree across the street. I heard another bird sing. I went to find it and discovered a tiny sparrow. I was about to leave, but something made me look up. There, on a low branch, sat a red tailed hawk, shifting her feet into her feathers to warm them while calmly surveying the site. We watched each other for a while. I did not have a camera. I can’t wait to return!