The Purple Martin House monitored by the Friends is located on the highest spot of the Biocore Prairie, offering a 360-view of over a large open area and a convenient high perch. Throughout the year it is visited by many birds other than Purple martins. Our monitors have observed Red-winged blackbirds, an American robin, two Baltimore orioles, Tree swallows, a Song sparrow and even a Ruby-throated hummingbird. House sparrows try to invade the nesting cavities, and once in a while the Community Garden's resident Red-tailed Hawk will perch on the very tip of the house.
In the sequence of photos taken by Arlene Koziol on Nov 21, 2020, the hawk is watching the ground from up high, clinging to the tiny house top with its strong talons, then spotting some prey, possibly a vole or rabbit, and – with his eyes firmly tethered to the object on the ground – elegantly swooping down to capture the creature. See all of Arlene's photos at her Fllckr site.
Nothing Gold Can Stay – Robert Frost
Nature's first green to gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day,
Nothing gold can stay.
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors