Greetings Brethren!
I trust this nicer weather has everyone driving with windows open, taking long strolls in your favorite haunts, and you're all enjoying the welcomed relief from the heat of summer doldrums where the day shift cicadas offer up the darkness of night to the chatter of Katydids
On my way into work today while having stopped at a fast food drive thru, I heard the ever familiar call of a Common Nighthawk. While waiting to "Please pull forward to the first window.", I searched the sky for the calling bird. I found two birds in flight over an industrial building in what appeared to be a game of follow the leader . . . as close as possible.
Having paid for and received my breakfast, I drove around the corner to the local park where I shut off my engine and continued watching their aerial display of incredible agility in the sweet rays of morning sunlight. They remained circling, rising, falling, dipping and dashing about overhead above one particular building which made for ideal viewing.
As I watched on, my initial questions of "Why are they doing this display?"; "Is this a courtship behavior?"; "Is this fun and games - Shadow Game?" and "Is this an adult teaching a young bird flight techniques?" were forgotten. Their wings began to lift and carry me with them. As the din of the nearby morning traffic and human activities faded into transparency, a Haiku formed:
Overhead nighthawks
Proximity diminishes
Shadow games commence.
For fifteen plus minutes I sat there in awe watching these birds seemingly play their shadow game in what I can only describe as joyful abandon. It was a welcomed way to start the work day. I needed to leave before the birds were finished with their game.
Bird on!

Chris Barrigar
Cole Co.
Russellville, MO
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"I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."   JOHN MUIR

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