“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs
The Cooper’s hawk sat patiently for its photograph, but I was too enthralled by the rufous-winged sparrow to even take my point and shoot camera out of my pocket. While in most people’s eyes, the hawk would be considered the more magnificent of the two, the sparrow had my vote this day.
That’s because while I have seen many Cooper’s hawks, even watched a pair raise two chicks this past year, the rufous-winged was a lifer. It’s the 706th species now on my life list of birds. A big thinks for the sighting goes to Chris and MaryEllen, who over a 20-year period of hard work, have created a special wildlife sanctuary on their property.
Chris was especially helpful in seeking this south eastern Arizona bird out for me, after I mentioned I wanted to see one when he was giving me and six other Audubon birders a tour of the grounds. After the circuit, and a bit of sitting on his patio watching a variety of hummers, curved-bill thrashers, gila and ladder-backed woodpeckers, white-crowned sparrows and house finches, I set out for the front meadow, where he said the rufous-winged hung out.
That was where I spotted the Cooper’s, and immediately knew there would be no small birds hanging out in this area until the hawk-watcher went off duty. So after snapping the hawk’s photo, I went elsewhere to search.
Chris soon joined me, saying he had heard a rufous-winged. A couple of minutes later, we had a clear view of one singing in a tree. It was a grand sighting, and after Chris and I high-fived, he said even he had chill bumps.
Bean Pat: It seems only fitting that WOW Arizona’s web site get the blog pick of the day award. Check this marvelous place out at: http://wowarizona.org/ WOW, by the way, stands for Wonderful Outdoor World. Chris said people don’t need therapy or drugs to solve their problems. “They just need to get outdoors into nature.” It works for me.