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There is a tradition among subscribers of BIRDCHAT that subscribers post the 
first bird each  has seen on New Year's Day. My first bird was a Red-tailed 
Hawk, seen as we entered the parking lot of our church.

"It gets curiouser and curiouser," Lewis Carroll might say.  I somehow 
managed to drive the entire two-mile distance from my home to the church 
without seeing any other bird before I saw the hawk. Later, my wife and I 
drove from the church to an Indian Restaurant in Overland Park, KS for 
lunch. I was no longer on the lookout for birds and managed to drive 7-8 
more miles on I-435 without noticing a bird. Then a Red-tailed Hawk flew 
across the road, followed by a second Red-tailed Hawk. I began to look for 
birds again. The next bird I saw was a fourth Red-tailed Hawk. My first four 
birds for 2006 were all Red-tailed Hawks!

What does this mean? There must be something auspicious about it. Come to 
think of it, the word "auspicious" is derived from the Latin words avis + 
specere, which mean "to look at birds."  See 
http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/archive/2005/12/11.html.). This 
unusual New Year's Day event must be an omen of some sort.

The only precedent for my experience that I can think of is the founding of 
Rome by Romulus way back when. According to legend, Romulus and his twin 
brother, Remus, engaged in a bird watching contest to divine which of them 
should found the city. Remus saw six vultures, but Romulus saw twelve. The 
city has ever since been called "Rome," not "Reme."

Seeing four Red-tailed Hawks seems to me to be less portentous than seeing 
six vultures, much less twelve. Maybe I am supposed to found a new city 
park, or perhaps a McDonald's on the corner. It's hard to say.

In an effort to divine the meaning of  the four Red-tailed Hawks, I have 
turned to rhyme. Unfortunately, 5 minutes of intense effort at rhyming 
produced only more questions. Here they are:

What's a Red-tail for
but to soar?

If God made sky
so he could fly
really high,
just what does he do
in the blue?

Which brings me to the following message for all of you:

May your hopes soar and your skies be blue in 2006.


Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
[log in to unmask] 

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