Above the mesa in Bolinas, a White-tailed Kite escorts a Red-tailed Hawk from its hunting grounds.
At the Berkeley Marina, after a long rain, a special bird arrived. Redtail plumage is wonderfully variable and it is always a treat to see a dark Redtail passing through during migration season.
Resident birds tend to be more glue-footed and less flighty, but migrants are understandably more wary.
I was a long way off, perhaps twice the distance most Redtails are comfortable with, and this RT was clearly more interested in a field devoid of humans. Lesson learned. Don't assume all birds react in the same way. Pay attention to each individual and act accordingly.
I was glad to look back as I was leaving and see the bird had returned to hunting the area. What a glorious hawk.
This bird was deeply important to me. I have dear friends now that I wouldn't have met without her, and a range of singular experiences and memories that only months spent with a wild bird can offer. She had a good six years and I'm glad she lived her last days in a beautiful California valley and likely died of natural not human causes. Fly on Patch... fly on.
Find out more about her here: KITUNDU.COM/PATCH