Saturday, November 8, 2014

October by David Holt

The October Puzzle

Flap, flap, flap, sail
on stubby wings and a long thin tail
flies a raptor thru the steel gray sky
which we now must try to identify.

The very first traits that meet our eye
puts it in the genus accipterii.
Though our task thus far has been met with ease,
we now must choose one of three species.

The mighty “Gos” we reject out of hand,
as it rarely passes by our stand.
So akin are the two that now remain
they strain our eyes and boggle our brain.

Protruding head and rounded tail,
wing beats of strength, less flap more sail,
all of which when seen without a squawk
should declare the bird a Coopers hawk.

But, if the bird is not so near
as to render these traits pure and clear
We simply deduce right there and then,
that the bird in question is a mere Sharpshin.

But, how can we say with certainty,
of a bird that's just too hard to see
It has traits that make it a Coopers hawk
Or if indeed it is a Sharp-shinned hawk?

When the traits we need cannot be had
'cause they're just too vague when the view is bad
We simply must swallow our birding pride
and call this bird unidentified.

David Holt
November, 1989

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