As we packed our bags for school, we discussed when we would go back to Portland (ME) to see the rare Great Black Hawk. Maura asked Jackson and I if we wanted to go tomorrow, but we had plans for that day. Then Jackson suggested going today, and sure enough, we did.
It was a warm day but there was a slight chill from the wind. We got in the car and left for Deering Oaks Park. When we got there, we all scattered around, looking in the trees. One of the first things we saw was a pair of Red-tailed Hawks being chased by a murder of crows. After a short while, the hawks flew away and we continued our search. It was very icy and slippery, making it difficult to walk. I saw something big in one of the evergreen trees and thought that it might have been the hawk. We were very disappointed when we realized that it was just an American Crow and set off to look some more.
(About half an hour later)
Our disappointment was washed away when someone pulled their car over and pointed down toward the ground. We were extremely excited! We walked over, slowly, so we wouldn’t disturb it and took a lot of pictures. We noticed that the entire time the Great Black Hawk was standing it had one foot up. We thought, at first, that it may have been injured, but it seemed totally fine after a while. Next thing we knew the hawk had flown up into a nearby tree. We followed carefully and slowly, as we did before. It stayed there for a moment. We waited, hoping to get a picture of the hawk flying in mid-air when it swooped down and picked something up. It was a dead squirrel! We watched as the hawk pecked at the squirrel for several minutes.
Finally, we decided to look for more birds. We looked around for a Barred Owl we heard was around there, but we didn’t have as much luck.
But all that mattered was that we finally saw the Great Black Hawk.
by Fiona Frost, edited by Jackson Frost (photos by Jackson, Fiona, and Maura)