Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hawk and Awe

City Hall, like so many other houses of government, is set within a park. It's a small park, but the significant tree canopy offers relief from the chaos of the city's civil and financial centers. I'm lucky enough to work in the attic of City Hall, which affords me a great view of the park and its inhabitants, which I thought consisted only of squirrels, office workers and nannies. That is, until today, when an enormous hawk landed on our office's AC window unit, scrambled to keep its grip on the metal, and then stared at me and my officemates as we screamed (from shock and delight) and rummaged frantically for a camera before he took off again (to no avail, sorry). I saw him again a few hours later coasting upward over the clock tower. We've named him Stokes in honor of I.N. Phelps Stokes, the author of The Iconography of Manhattan.

While I wait for Stokes' return, I'm obsessed with the live feed of the hawk's nest at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute. After watching the three nestlings nap, stretch and feed, I am trying to figure out how I can make my life a little bit more like theirs.

Title pun courtesy of Alex Hills.


  1. and thanks to the multitude of camping trips you went on with the fam you can identify a hawk from other birds.

  2. Yes, and I can also recognize the calls of 12 distinct birds, thanks to the clock in your family room! (Not really.)