The Broad-Winged Hawk is a medium sized migrating hawk that summers mostly in eastern North America. It is usually spotted in groups or pairs circling overhead on the air currents, especially during migration.
I heard the piercing cry of the Broad-Winged Hawk in the forest earlier this week, then saw the bird darting through the upper tree branches. Despite the idiosyncratic whistle, I was confused, never having spotted the bird in the forest and never having seen a solitary bird. I did some research and, sure enough, this is a forest dwelling hawk, proficient at flying between trees. In my area, it nests in May and June. This week, the trees just began leafing here.
I interpret an encounter with a nesting bird as a sign of productivity, the opposite of goalless drifting. It shows effort directed toward achievement. Though the Broad-Winged is not a large hawk, it is remarkable that it can navigate through thick forest, and this points to nourishment of a difficult goal. This is a common hawk uncommonly spotted in home territory doing its main work of raising young, indicating a rare glimpse at hidden progress.
This was my second encounter with a Broad-Winged in a week, as a few days earlier a found a wing feather in a different forest. The feather prepared me to consider my second meeting seriously and reflect on its meaning.