Posted on Leave a comment

karearea on the wing

Suddenly, it’s spring!  The wind stirs and birds everywhere are on the wing!  Around the trees; along the beach; up the river.

There was even karearea, our falcon.  Traveling on quick wingbeats, in fast direct flight, swiftly winging its way toward nearby Kapiti Island.

As I stood and watched, amazed to see it, it slowed in flight, and turned for a moment.  Showing me its outstretched wings.

Then it was off again.  Karearea: the high flier.  Fearless.  Swift.  Accurate & deadly.

Our falcons are so fierce, so unafraid, they will even attack kahu, the harrier (itself a hunter and twice their size), by turning over in flight and striking it underneath.

Yet their parenting styles couldn’t be more different!  The fierce falcon is gentle: the bigger harrier is not.

Harrier parents let nature take its course.  As their chicks grow, the older ones elbow the younger ones away from the food.  So the smaller chicks gradually disappear (or get eaten!).

But every falcon chick gets its share.  When they’re small, they’re feed bill-to-bill by their mother.  She tears up the prey brought by their father, and offers pieces to each chick in turn.

Holding out a small piece of liver or breast, her head held so that the chick can easily see the titbit, she waits until the chick has quite finished, before offering the next piece.

In my family fierceness & gentleness were considered opposites.  I needed to toughen up or I wouldn’t survive!

Yet both qualities are within this bird.  Like the spring egg, they contain these opposites.  Ready to be born.

for when the opposites are reconciled
this brings about the creation & reproduction of life

(nest observations from M.F. Soper)

Leave a Reply