Yesterday the Red Shouldered Hawk baby could be heard from my house, at least 1/4 mile from its nest in Cooper's Grove. It's getting very vigorous! I have in my bookshelf Life Histories of North America Birds of Prey by Arthur Cleveland Bent. The book is based on observations from the late 1800's and early 1900's. It is compiled from the reports of many dedicated observers, and the manuscript was finished in 1936. Thus, it is an interesting historical document that reveals much about past environments and attitudes of humans toward birds.
The section on the Nesting Habits of Red-Shouldered Hawks includes this passage:
I would like to see those old groves. I read recently that the precipitous demise of the passenger pigeon from sky-obscuring flocks requiring days to pass to complete extinction was brought about mostly by the destruction of the great Eastern hardwood forests.
The book from which the passage above is taken has many accounts of people shooting birds of all varieties, including this interesting story about shooting a swallow-tailed kite:
I think there were many more birds in general back then, so perhaps shooting them in order to admire them more closely did not seem in that context quite as insane as it does today.
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Amos Clifford, Guide and Restorative Council Mentor; trainer in restorative justice, restorative dialogue with nature, and circle-keeping and the way of council; mentor.