accipiter

A small hawk flies through the forest in steady rain, perches in the crown of an oak for several minutes, and flies on. The wind picks up.

Overcast and breezy. The blue-gray back of a small hawk—sharp-shinned or Cooper’s—darting through the yard. A few raindrops tap on the roof.

A sharp-shinned hawk keeps chasing flickers in the yard; they yell at the effrontery and circle right back each time. A wren chatters alarm.

Sun shining through fog and the growing tents of fall webworms. A sharp-shinned hawk sits atop the dead elm, his head swiveling all around.

The porch is sleek with blown rain. Just past dawn I glimpse a small hawk circling low over the trees—long-tailed accipiter, a dark cross.

Snow has turned all the lower limbs into wide white feathers, but treetops are bare against the blue. From somewhere in between, the hawk.