Neighborhood large bird



He resembles a quail, only after

he took off, gliding gracefully

high into the sky, do you notice

his wide wingspan and his

hawklike characteristics.

He sat in the yard next

door to my friend,

Jenny’s house,

showing restraint

and a definite lack

of interest as I spoke

about my grandfather’s

spirit living on within a

bright red cardinal who

follows me to every new

place I live. I asked this

fine specimen of a bird,

“Where have you been?”

“What have you seen?”

“Have you lived as only

a bird, or have you inhabited

other amazing creatures of

Earth: Land, Sea or Space?”

Paying no attention to me,

except to keep an eye on my

cell phone, he swept himself

up high, looking down as I gazed

upwards, then glided across the

nearby pond, past the cattails and

marshy muddy area to a tall evergreen.

No photographs came our clearly, as

he timed his leaving as I was thinking,

sitting on the sidewalk, what we used

to call “Indian style,” which may be

updated to Native American

sitting with crossed legs.

Here’s a Sunday



“Prayer at Sunrise”

written by,

James Weldon Johnson.

“Oh, greater Maker of this Thy great sun,

Give me the strength this one day’s
race to run,

Fill me with light, fill me with sun-like

Fill me with joy to rob the day its

Light from within, light that will
outward shine,

Strength to make strong some weaker
heart than mine

Joy to glad each soul that feels its

Great Father of the sun,

I ask this much.”


The idea and sound of

a Kestrel instead of a Hawk,

made me label this fine bird.

I liked my friend Marissa who

thought he looked like an owl.

My friend, Merril, pursued

research (Imagine that!)

and discovered male

Kestrels have

blue heads.


88 responses »

    • I am glad you enjoyed the prayer, Jill. ❀
      He was quite sedate and at first I wondered was he sick or injured. He is not domesticated enough to just fly to a small tree, where I could have tried to capture his flying.
      He showed me his soaring technique to head up into a nearby tall woods tree. Happy Sunday to you, too.

    • “Here Comes the Sun” and “Sunshine on My Shoulders” are two of my favorite morning songs, Jennie. πŸ™‚
      In the summer, my church sings “Morning Has Broken” which until they did this I had thought Cat Stevens had written it. (I have written his new name on another post, but it escapes me now! πŸ™‚ )

    • Jennie, so glad you also thought the song was written by Cat Stevens. When our church choir burst into song in the summer of 1987, I was amazed!
      “Morning Has Broken” was written in 1931, then added to the Presbyterian Church Hymnal in 1955. The author is C. Michael Hawn.
      I do know the words are still stayed the same from then until Cat Stevens sang them. He may have added a verse, but I didn’t further investigate this. . . hugs to you, J.

      • Thank you, Robin! As a music lover, this is good to know. What a great song. I can only imagine how beautiful it sounded in a church. Choral music goes back centuries, and is just as great today. Our daughter sang in a choral choir…best music, ever.

  1. I honestly did not know what a kestrel looked like, so thank you for this, even though you didn’t get his flight. Maybe her flight. I looked it up, and the males have blue heads. πŸ™‚

    I’m not a religious person, but that’s a nice prayer. Happy Sunday, Robin!

    • Thank you so much! This may not be a Kestrel then, Merril. My poetic thought was to use this label since he seemed so peaceful. I didn’t want to use “hawk” which has become associated with war.
      Research done by fellow writers us always helpful! I used to write for two full years and a half with no pictures where I could “get away with guessing!”
      My fellow global explorer and used to be an “ex-pat” with wife Florence, Mike used to help me out. Since he cleared up a lot of my early veteran or war information, especially an emotional one I wrote on Pearl Harbor. πŸ™‚

    • Merril, I do think the hawk (sharp-shinned hawk) picture does look like my big bird picture. Thank you! I meant it when I said I appreciate this. I should have looked a little harder. . .
      I am trying to remember did I ever have you read the story of the Carolina parakeets? The link is under the likes as~ “Be Prepared to Weep for Winged Creatures.”

  2. Those birds are so rude! Obviously he had no time for small talk but only wanted to use your cell phone and when he saw that wasn’t happening he just left! I never saw a kestrel either. What an odd bird. Looks a bit like an owl.

  3. The prayer poem fits well with your thoughts about the kestrel. I have felt honored in a god-like way by birds on a couple of occasions. My most memorable experience was when a golden eagle launched himself from a snag pine as I broke out of a forest at the alpine timberline. He swooped so close over my head that I felt the air rush by under his outstretched wings spanning nearly six feet. I turned and watched him glide over the valley below until he was just a dot above the horizon. No one else was around, so the experience was just between me and that glorious bird. – Mike

    • Mike, I love how you described your eagle experience. The honor is how winged creatures come at such special times, as if intended for just you, with moments where time seem to go slowly. . . Indeed this made me feel God’s presence in my life, even as if comforting me.

      I was blessed with the prayer poem coming at the right time.
      It turns out this may be just a hawk but when I had looked up kestrel, the first photograph and website was Wikipedia and it did seem to resemble the bird I saw.

  4. You’re so lucky to get that shot! They don’t often sit on the ground.I wondered if he had a small bird or mouse in his talons. That’s the only time I’ve seen a hawk on the ground, if they are about to take off with a bird they’ve just taken down.

    • It was so odd, Anneli. He seemed to be almost sun bathing or subdued somehow. I got rather close, sat down and did talk to it.
      I started this post, thinking it was a Kestrel. Someone suggested not. The bird flew away so quickly and I ran after it while in awe of its wide spanned wings!

    • Thank you, Pauline. We are nearly heading to bed. Hope you have a lovely day! xo Please give Siddy and Orlando a pat or scratch on their head or behind ears. . .

    • Sylvia, I was thrilled! Thank you for sharing this feeling. Discovery of “critters” is always interesting where you live.
      Although this hawk photograph isn’t very detailed, it allowed me to stay by it, sitting on the sidewalk.
      It turns out when I looked up “kestrel,” the bird on Wikipedia site resembled this bird. I did have a commenter who has far more time and interest in the research who helped me to determine it is a hawk.

  5. I’m wondering if it was maybe a Cooper’s or a sharp-shinned hawk. The kestrel has some peachy colours in the front and sides, so I think it might not be a kestrel. Hard to say without a clearer picture, but I know they don’t usually sit still for that long.

    • Anneli, normally if someone mentions something like this I change the post. When Merril mentioned a hawk, I changed my post this morning. It even has a comic line about Merril thinking it’s a hawk and Marissa saying it looks like an owl. πŸ˜€
      I always wonder if it changes on the reader? Maybe will go see this next time!
      The Wikipedia kestrel looks soft like my photo but the hawk looks like a tough bird with stiff feathers. So, I accidentally went with the wrong bird. Live and learn; but appreciate your comment and now, one more and off to bed for me. I have an 11 hour workday in hot, closed in warehouse

      • DON’T change the post. It’s interesting and started a great discussion. I’ve done that before too where I posted something and then someone corrects me. It’s a way of learning something new and getting people interested. I’ll feel bad if you change the post. It’s a mystery bird! Not an owl for sure, though. It definitely looks like a hawk of some sort, but I don’t know my hawks well enough to say what kind. No harm in giving it the wrong name. Not at all. Hope your workday isn’t too bad.

  6. We get a lot of birds in our neighborhood – all kinds. My guy and I laugh at ourselves because we actually sit on the stoop and watch them all interact, with a definite hierarchy (and who’d guess watching birds could be so fascinating?). But we’ve never seen the bird you ‘captured’ in this photo. Strange-looking creature. The “Prayer at Sunrise” is lovely.

    • Birdwatching is excellent fun, Pamela! I enjoy listening to birds and view them with respect for their cheery personalities. I would love to see a variety of big birds. This one seemed rather peaceful but the sun reflected a bit in my cellphone photo! Happy you have a pleasant pastime, also for your enjoyment of the poem. πŸ™‚

    • Hey, special lady! I was wondering if you may be thinking of the song from 1967, “Hair” called, “Good Morning, Starshine?” The young singer named Oliver put this out on his album, too. Just was not able to comment about the way responses go back and forth makes me feel very “interactive.” πŸ™‚

  7. I think he is certainly a Kestrel (a member of the hawk family) …. you should seek out a wonderful movie made in 1969 by the remarkable and sensitive British film-maker Ken Loach. It’s called Kes. it think you would love it. Here is the trailer – I think you can watch the whole movie on YouTube and I warn you it is in a Foreign language – Northern English!!!

    • Aww, you are a sweetheart, Fiona! I liked the name “kestrel” but didn’t really research it enough.
      This film.sounds and looks amazing! By the way,1969 is a year I remember well so this will have multiple layers of meaning for me. Thank you sincerely. xo

    • Jay, I couldn’t believe it was so tame, it seemed like it was full of Zen-like spirit, or injured. But when it took off I could not capture it’s wing span or get anything but a big “blur!”
      I appreciate and am smiling at your sweet words.Thanks!
      I am going to go straight over after the next few comments. I saw 3 movies over the weekend. It is always fun to actually know if I liked them when I comment. πŸ™‚

    • This means a lot, Kath. You are such a very fine artist, I always like what you have to say and show from your moleskin journal/art pad. Hope your Wednesday goes well, too. πŸ™‚

    • Wendell, wow! You have so much meaning and special messages within your response today. The bird was much more distinct through my sunglasses. His sitting there, while I was on the sidewalk only a few feet away made it a great experience.
      I am always happy that someone feels uplifted or happier while visiting my post. Blessings sent your way, dear brother.

    • I wrote a story awhile back Cardinal sends a message or something like this. I sent it off to several places but received the nicest letter back from Guideposts Magazine. It said that many times a year someone sends in amazing story about a bird which appears after a death in the family. They called this winged messages. It made me feel in “tune” even more with the birds. Thank you, Diana, for your saying you enjoy this element of the post, and other times (like with the geese.)

      • I love that, Robin. In my current WIP, I have a culture that believes that the souls of the departed become birds. I think the world is full of messengers if we take the time to listen ❀

  8. Loved your writing and poem Robin, and your story on the bird.
    I have a black bird that seems to have no fear of me, he started appearing a month back after my Brothers death, I do believe we are reincarnated.

    • I am happy you have the presence of your brother nearby in a fearless black bird, dear friend. ❀
      I am not sure how it all becomes the way it does, but it seems like lots of stories show connections across time and space, Ian. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Beth. I really like how this proud bird’s chest looked so soft and fluffy. If the day hadn’t been sunny with glare on the white feathers, the details may have shown up a bit more. It looked so nice through my sunglasses. ❀

  9. Such a big bird, you’d think he’d tell amazing stories. I like the sound of kestrel as well.
    Lovely words.

    PS: They say sit like a pretzel for Indian style now. I say Indian style at home. Like my grandmother who was Seminole, I always sit Indian style. I reckon I’m entitled. πŸ˜‰

    • Yes, his size indicates some wisdom along with his sense of calmness, Joey.
      I agree, you may say what you wish about Indians, which I don’t really believe insults the ones I have met. Overall, when I meet people from India, this is how the word may get confusing. . .
      I have forgotten if I knew of your Seminole grandmother. Thanks for mentioning this. Are they from around Florida? I believe they are peaceful in their background, right?

      • Truly the “Indian” label is a mess.
        I never know how to answer the question as to whether Seminoles are peaceful. They are in Florida, yes. Originally Creek, they faced attack from Europeans and went to settle in Florida to get some distance.
        I don’t think any tribe was ever able to avoid warring.

  10. He resembles a Falcon. That is what he would be around here. But Kestrel seems better. I love all birds, but ones with beaks like that are a bit predatory. Still in all, the fact that he is on the ground tells me he is not a harsh bird. Interesting, Robin and you have camera handy it seems.

    • Hi there, dear. I have been wondering if you are going a little crazy with recent the national convention and political world, in general. I shall go visit you!
      I really did hope my photograph would look like what the bird looked like through my sunglasses, Beth. (Much more detailed, taking the glare off the shimmery, white feathers. πŸ™‚ )
      He seemed to be sunning himself making home appear “tame,” but as he soared up high to the top of a tall pine tree, I could see his majestic traits.

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