More Afterlife Signs

Tim’s Prediction of the Hawk Fledge

Other than my Timmy Hawk sightings chronicled in my memoir describing how my departed husband comes to me in hawks, I’ve been a confirmed “Hawkaholic” since I started watching the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Hawk webcam in 2012. The cam is attached to a 90 foot tall light tower platform on a Cornell University athletic field where Red-tailed Hawks, “Big Red” a.k.a. BR and “Ezra” a.k.a. Ez, raise their yearly broods. I happened upon their cam when I googled “hawks” and my world of close-up hawk watching began ( I was mesmerized as I watched BR and Ez build their nest for the three eggs laid by BR in mid March, then both hawks sat on the nest through snow, wind and rain until late April when all the eggs hatched to much fanfare from the international hawk cam watching crowd. Forty-four more days passed as we watched the hatchlings’ daily feedings of various small wildlife brought to the nest by their parents. By early June, the three chicks had grown to almost the size of BR and Ez and there was much speculation on the hawk chat room and twitter about when they would leave the nest.

When I awoke on Wednesday morning, June 6, 2012, my departed husband’s voice spoke to me, as usual in my left ear like he was lying there beside me, “Go to Ithaca today, the first hawk chick will fledge.”

“Really Timmy? Cool! Since you’ve accurately predicted many other things over these last three years in your realm, I’m going!”

After my hour long drive, I arrived on the bustling Cornell campus around 11:00am, parked near the light tower and peered up at the nest I’d been watching for months. There were the three hawk chicks walking back and forth on their huge nest of sticks and flapping their wings! To my surprise, they looked much larger in real life than they did on the cam. Often there were “hawk watchers” mulling around below the nest but no one else was there, perhaps because it was a weekday. After a few minutes, I was joined by a woman and her two school-aged children who squealed with delight at the sight of the huge birds.

“My intuition told me the first one is going to fledge today so I drove here from Syracuse,” I said to the mom, not revealing that my “intuition” was my departed husband, Tim.

“My girls and I had a feeling as well so I took them out of school and we drove here from Binghamton. Their teacher understood because their classroom watches the cam so the kids can learn about hawks.”

“How fortunate for them and so many other classrooms around the world who watch our hawks! And speaking of watching, LOOK!” I pointed upward as the first chick who’d been flapping his wings awkwardly took to the air and flew across the busy road right in front of us. We both snapped pictures and ran across the street to find him gingerly walking near a building, testing his skills on solid ground for the first time. We moved in as close as we felt we should get not to startle him, and continued to take photos.

“I can’t believe how huge he is, I feel like I’m standing next to a tricycle!” I said as I compared his size to some bicycles parked in a nearby rack. He continued to walk and then playfully hopped up and down. Students began filing out of the building and I warned them, “watch out for the hawk!” Cell phones were hurriedly grabbed out of pockets and backpacks as we all watched the hopping hawk! Suddenly, he flew to a tree and landed upside down, one foot hanging onto a branch. It was a funny sight but after a few minutes, we thought he might be hurt.  As I walked closer, he finally righted himself and curled his talons around the branch perched like a pro while we admired him from a few feet away.

After taking more pictures, we searched the skies for BR and Ez and saw them circling the nest with food for the two remaining chicks. We heard loud chirping from the adult hawks, then the new fledgling joined the chorus. We decided to leave to allow the parents to find their intrepid chick so he could be fed after his exciting first flight.

As I drove home, I thanked Tim for his wonderful gift. “It was such an incredible experience to be there for the first fledge! It kinda looked like he fell out of the nest though; hey Timmy, did you push him?” I chuckled. “But he got the hang of flying quickly and it was wonderful to see him glide through the air. Thank you my love, for guiding me today and always, I know you are with me.” And with those words, a beautiful Red-tailed hawk came out of nowhere and flew by my car as I blew him a kiss out the window.


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