Red-tailed Hawk Story: Resilient Triumph and Joy
This blog has always existed to serve two purposes in terms of the Cornell Red-tailed Hawks. The first is to function as an archival resource (see links on the right-hand side.) The second is to celebrate the lives of these hawks and all that we learn as humble observers. When all goes well, this is relatively easy. From the time that the Cornell Lab of Ornithology first put up the cams in 2012, many have found a sense of refuge and sanctuary simply by peeking into this realm. Often bombarded in our daily lives by negativity, illness, woundedness, and weary struggle, we became spellbound in a world of unfolding life and mystery. We watched further as Karel, BOGette, and other BOGs continued to give of themselves to ensure that we saw as much of this world as possible, especially after Big Red and Ezra’s offspring fledged each year.
And yet, we would be reminded all too soon that this world will always be a part of the larger broken one we live in. Injury, death, and loss would not be strangers to the hawks. Viewers formed groups in social media and this became a two-edged sword, fostering both community and divisiveness. Knowledge of Big Red and Ezra and Red-tailed Hawks became a second two-edged sword. Familiarity and sometimes arrogance chipped away at our sense of wonder. We have done this before. We have seen this before. But have we really? We found that everything that we were – whether it be good or bad, noble or petty – came with us.
Through it all, Big Red and Ezra continued to soar. Heartachingly gorgeous and majestic. Supremely dedicated to each other and to their young. And in each season, those offspring who have survived the terrible dangers faced after fledging have been joys to behold. This year, we mourned the loss of G3, and yet we are so very grateful that G1 is recovering well. Updates are being posted (when available) on the main Cornell Hawks cam page by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. We rejoice that G2 is continuing to thrive in the wild and that she shows us her exuberant, feisty personality. For example, see G2 interact with a Red-winged Blackbird on Karel and BOGette’s stream from 7/19.
As we observe these things, we also have a chance to see what we have been given. It is a unique way in which we experience the healing gift of nature in general and of these specific birds up close. Unique because of the way we have woven into the viewing experiences our humanity with all of its strengths and follies, all of its insights and blindness. We have been given a gift so great that it will always be larger than our hearts can fully receive. Sometimes it may feel so full of sadness and tragedy that it cannot be received. But we continue on…and it is my hope and prayer that at some point each of us can look in the mirror and at each other and know that we have allowed our hearts to grow in resilient triumph and the joy of being.
2016 Season Wrap-up Links
I regret that I was not able to be around for that latter half of the season and missed much – both in terms of the events themselves and the events as experienced by different parts of the community of viewers.
- Historical Info Updated with 2016 Data: http://bit.ly/1rONdhC
- 6/5 G2 Fledge: http://livestream.com/karelsedlacek/events/5540826
- 6/7 G1 Fledge: http://livestream.com/karelsedlacek/events/5554127
- 6/9 G3 Fledge: http://livestream.com/karelsedlacek/events/5565985
- 6/26 G1 Injured: http://livestream.com/karelsedlacek/events/5686638
- 7/3 G3 Injured: http://livestream.com/karelsedlacek/events/5734833
- 7/4 G3 Farewell: http://livestream.com/karelsedlacek/events/5742676
- 7/25 Ithaca Journal article: http://www.ithacajournal.com/story/news/local/2016/07/25/two-young-hawks-cornell-injured/86982442
- 2016 Video Archives: http://bit.ly/1mt54g9
- 2016 Prey Brought to Nest: https://goo.gl/ZN3ogn
BOG Streams and Photos
- Karel and BOGette: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/3414738
- Ferris: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ferrisakel and https://www.youtube.com/user/ferrisakel
- christinebphotos: https://flic.kr/ps/2tMnQY
- Hockeygirl103: https://flic.kr/ps/2VAN1a