A Hawk Visits Church

White Hawk at churchI pulled into the church parking lot early on Sunday morning, as usual, only to discover that I was not the first one there. As I pulled up to park I was surprised to see a tall, white bird sitting on the ground about five feet from my car. Initially, he didn’t move, and then I noticed that I had interrupted his breakfast as he held a squirrel in his talons. I was able to take a couple of pictures on my phone before he flew off with his prey across Washington Drive to the golf course.

This is the not the first time I have seen the hawk around the church. In fact, on Saturday he sat in a tall tree in front of the church for much of the afternoon. The boy scouts were running their pinewood derby in the fellowship hall so families were walking in and out of the church while the bird perched above their heads. The people and cars did not seem to bother him one bit.

I do not know much about birds so I queried my facebook friends for an identification and it appears that we have a Leucistic (White) Red-Tailed hawk visiting our church. This is different from an albino bird in that the normal pigment is diluted rather than lacking. It is a rare bird and is pretty amazing to watch. After seeing him with his breakfast it also explains the absence of the usual squirrels and rabbits around the church lately.IMAG0363

The beauty of God’s world inspires me in my faith, but seldom is done in a way that is so dramatic and so close. The awesomeness of nature is one of the first steps of a spiritual orientation to life. This includes the good and the bad—the whole cycle of life and death is a wonder to behold and makes me always grateful for my life in this midst.

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