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One day I walked into the studio and saw Dottie gazing out the window. The window sills are low to the floor in this house so a large dog can sit comfortably and rest her head on the ledge. Dottie instead was staring intensely. I thought it was just a bunny or squirrel outside under the window and turned to leave the room. Then I thought, "No this is different." I went to the window and saw an American Kestrel sitting on a lawn chair only a few feet from the window. I didn't want to move because I was worried the noise (the window was open) would startle the bird. I turned and picked a scrap of paper off the table and grabbed a pen. I sketched quickly. Soon I realized something was wrong with the bird. It seem disoriented, it bobbed oddly. Finally it hopped down to the ground and ran into the berry patch.

Puzzled by this behavior I called the Raptor Center. They told me it sounded like the bird was injured or poisoned and suggested I catch it in a box and call them back. I followed their instructions (adding huge barbeque gloves to my protective attire), but the little guy scooted into the main raspberry patch and hid deep within years of uncut canes. He probably died there. He was so beautiful.

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Illustration © 2000 Roz Stendahl; All Rights Reserved