I was struggling with what I should do today when the answer fell at my feet - literally. I looked out my bedroom window and saw a tiny raptor sitting on my front lawn about 15 feet away from my dog (!). I brought my dog inside, and I called the non-emergency police number. I asked the dispatcher what I should do. "Call the rapture center," she told me. I assumed she was referring to the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center rather than the final resurrection, so I gave the Raptor Center a call.
While I was speaking to Drew, one of the Raptor Center's volunteers, the raptor-in-question flew onto a limb of our oak tree, about 12 feet up. Drew took this as a good sign. My husband texted Drew a photo of the bird. Drew told us it was a sharp-shinned hawk, the smallest hawk in North America. Drew explained that sharp-shinned hawks lock onto their prey (small song birds) just like those fighter jets in Top Gun. This one had probably run into one of our windows. "Why don't you watch him over the next hour," Drew said. "If he doesn't move, I'll try to get someone over there to look at him."
For the next half hour, I prayed, fretted and looked out the window at the bird. After a while, my husband came into our room and said, "He's gone." He went outside to make sure the hawk wasn't on the ground or in another tree. After my husband came inside, I called Drew to give him the good news.
Once we hung up, I decided to make a small donation to the Raptor Center at http://www.raptor.cvm.umn.edu/ I learned that they also accept used ink cartridges at various locations around town as part of their fundraising efforts. My black ink cartridge is barely holding on, so I will ask my husband to drive it over to a nearby co-op once it finally bites the dust.
Drew told us that sharp-shinned hawks are in the process of migrating south to Mexico. I will picture our hawk diving along a white sand beach on the Yucatan Peninsula, sometime soon.
Today, I am grateful for the non-emergency police, the Raptor Center, Drew, my husband, and my dog, Sinjin (Sinjin - thanks for not eating that hawk today).
Photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp-shinned_Hawk