Then I knew. Late last Wednesday night, my friend Mike told me that "we lost Don today." Yes, his close friend and mentor, Donald Hopkins, had passed away that afternoon. I knew then why the hawk was overhead. The hawk was an omen of Don's passing. Call me crazy but seeing and hearing that Red-tailed hawk the day of his passing made me believe in "signs" even more.
You see, Don got his start counting hawks. As a volunteer and co-founder of HMANA (Hawk Migration Association of North America) (HMANA History), "keeping watch over CT Bald Eagles" became his mission after hawks. He went on to become one of the most well known and respected Eagle observers, documenting behaviors, mating, nesting and behavioral stages of feeding and chick development along with a myriad of other analytical data and documentation about the magnificent raptors.
I will always remember the day my friend Mike brought me to the nursing home to meet Don. Some of my observations and field stories made him grin ear to ear when I was introduced to him in June of this year (My Heart Soared). I even got a "good-bye" kiss that day. Mike told me he hadn't seen him smile like that in a long, long time. It was an honor and a privilege to meet this beautiful man. His obituary reads:
Farewell my friend. Soar high.
just seeing, saying, and sharing...
The Crying Hawk
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