The other day I was walking outside my home when something swooped past me and landed in a tree not ten feet from where I stood. It was one of these:
source: national geographic
A peregrine falcon. It is a beautiful, mean looking bird. As I watched it, struck by its fierce beauty, I thought, among other things, of a half remembered line from Blake's Tyger Tyger: "Did He who made the lamb make thee?" I also thought if I could catch it and sneak it out of the country, I could probably pay for my kids' tuition. But morality and the consideration that this bird's beak and talons were specially designed for ripping flesh off a bone made me keep my distance.
All winter there was a cardinal at my bird feeder. I haven't seen it lately. I think I've figured out why.