I beg your indulgence in a response to your hawk story from a fellow who is neither a birder nor particularly spiritual much less religious.

I am partially inspired to write this on Independence day (2019) by the author of the declaration of independence, Thomas Jefferson, who held human reason in the highest regard but yet devoted a long and dedicated effort to creating and publishing a version of the Christian new testament.

Even we skeptics and rationalists find ourselves looking nervously over our shoulders at the infinity of the universe and boundless and mysterious diversity and harmony of nature here on our tiny fragile planet.

Red-tailed hawks are not endangered. They have  proven (so far) to be adaptable and robust. The motivation to save one displaced nestling was not driven by an urgent need to steward a species.  But in every sense it was a GOOD deed. (in point of fact it was a whole bunch of good deeds) . Even an irascible old skeptic and curmudgeon like my self has to declare that the generous and sustained effort Joe and your staff expended on one refugee red-tail must count for a lot somewhere in the vastness of possibility in a universe as big as ours is. Such charity cannot help but make existence better for all of us, animals, vegetables & minerals alike.

Now when I’m shambling reluctantly behind my too-avid birder of a wife and I see ‘just a red-tail’ wheeling over us. I’ll wonder if he grew up in a nest that Joe built.

He and his staff blessed us ALL in the truest sense of the word

Antoine St. Exupery wrote: ‘It is the time you have wasted on your rose that makes your rose important’

Joe's time was wasted in the most sublime way possible.


-Mike Murphy (not a birder)

St Louis



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