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A hawk facing us is a good omen

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

In African folklore, a hawk facing you with its white breast in full view is a good omen. But, if a hawk shows you its back, it is a bad omen. Today, as I walked across the Connecticut Avenue bridge, I noticed our feathered friend facing us on the 'ol twisty branch. I'd like to say it was Dorothy, but as the juveniles get older (they turn one in April!), it's getting more difficult to discern between them and their parents. We'll just say, for the sake of my story, that it's Dorothy. For a few moments it felt like old times. There were five people (including me) who stopped to look and admire her basking in the sun.

Dorothy was obviously taking a breather from hunting. She's looking in the direction of the old nest, where she was raised last spring. Ah, memories.

Then, in an instant, she turned around and took flight. Her talons dangled for a moment before tucking them in. Back to the hunt!

High above she soared, above our heads, and down the Klingle Valley Trail.

If you see me around Woodley Park or Cleveland Park, please say "hi." You'll recognize me with my lens. I'd love to hear your hawk stories!

UPDATE TO POST: A kind contributor to the Enraptured By Raptors Facebook page noted that this is actually an adult Red-shouldered Hawk. Juveniles have white breasts with vertical streaking, and adults like this one have a horizontal rufous pattern.

Appreciate any feedback from others as we're all continually learning. That's what makes it fun!

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