Cold and gloomy—classic March weather for the equinox. A Cooper’s hawk calls from the treetops, underneath which two squirrels chase, oblivious.
Cloudy and warm. A Coopers’s hawk darts through the treetops. From the barnyard, a phoebe’s enthusiastic chant. Raindrops.
Deep blue sky; blindingly white ground. A crow lands at the woods’ edge and clears its throat. A Cooper’s hawk flutters off like a fast moth.
Cold and gray. A commotion of wings by the springhouse where breakfast eludes a Cooper’s hawk. He sits in the crabapple ruffling his feathers.
Fifteen minutes after sunrise, the sky darkens again. The fierce yet querulous cries of a Cooper’s hawk skimming the treetops.
Partly sunny and cold. The kak-kak-kak of a Cooper’s hawk up in the woods. Polyrhythms of scolding chipmunks.
Overcast and cool. A Cooper’s hawk calls up in the woods, eliciting a response from what sounds like a juvenile—that nearly universal whine.
Gnats backlit by the sun fly back and forth, reversing direction without slowing down even the slightest. The kak-kak-kak of a Cooper’s hawk.
The wings of insects shining in the sun where snowflakes flew two days ago. The Cooper’s hawk sounds as gung-ho as ever. I sharpen a knife.
A snow flurry turns into a squall, and all the birds fall silent—even the Cooper’s hawk. The ground is white in minutes: an onion snow.
Shadbush blossoms merge with the sky. A red-tailed hawk drops in and is quickly driven off by the Cooper’s hawk, who lands one good strike.
Overcast and cool. Up on the ridge, two or three crows scold a Cooper’s hawk: high-pitched whines, a gargling rattle. The hawk zips off.
Lust is in the air: a turkey gobbling in the field, a Cooper’s hawk calling in the woods, and right in front of me, a sunlit cloud of lekking gnats.
Cooper’s hawks calling up on the ridge. One of them takes flight: such a small bird to be so strident! And the sky begins to turn white.