I have my morning rituals in my early morning work routine. I arrive at least an hour before my students so the campus is peaceful. I plan for the day, make copies, review the day’s math and language arts lessons, correct student work, and do a bit of housekeeping.
There are a few avian routines that are also part of my morning ritual. The first is usually to check the field and backstop for the red-shoulder hawk pair. They are there most mornings, perched on the baseball backstop, helping to rid the field of gophers. I also check the food court for the resident white-crowned sparrows and juncos that scatter to the bushes before my footfalls. When I head out to the teacher’s lounge to make copies, I check the cypress that looms in the back of the school.
I call this tree the Kite Perch because it is frequently topped by a local white- tailed kite. I sometimes find an American crow but this morning I spotted a bird that stood out. Even without my binoculars, I could identify this raptor, but I wanted it to fly to confirm its existence. I was able to take a few far off phone photos in the beautiful morning light.
A phone photo of the Kite Perch. That tiny speck christening the top of the cypress is the avian death angel: the peregrine falcon.
After about five minutes the falcon lit out north, it’s powerful wing beats talking the peregrine in a straight line toward the PEFA Perch near Crystal Springs Road.
This was a great way to start the school day. The only downside was that I was not able to share it with my students.