Canto

Predator

Kookaburra in a garden. It is a carnivore who eats small reptiles, rodents and insects.

Photographed c. December, 2019.

The warping night air having brought the boom

Of an owl’s voice into her darkened room,
We tell the wakened child that all she heard
Was an odd question from a forest bird,
Asking of us, if rightly listened to,
“Who cooks for you?” and then “Who cooks for you?”

Words, which can make our terrors bravely clear,
Can also thus domesticate a fear,
And send a small child back to sleep at night
Not listening for the sound of stealthy flight
Or dreaming of some small thing in a claw
Borne up to some dark branch and eaten raw.

— "A Barred Owl",
Richard Wilbur

Owl Saint (2006).
Ursula Vernon
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Little Owl (Athene noctua). Photographed by Danny Laredo.
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Male Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus). Photographed by Rachel Bilodeau.
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The mandarin ducks, the husband and his mate,
Brush from each other’s wings the frost.
How sad if one is left to sleep alone!

—from The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon

"Common Raven, 12623a, male, Jul" (1991), Wing and Tail Image Collection.
Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound.

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Birds and I—

Vega is Thunderbird;
Zhael is Phoenix;
Syr is Simurgh;
Justinian is Peregrine Falcon;
Halcyon is Kingfisher;

I am Eagle. Gryphon, perhaps.

Vega nightfishes in the Great Sky River. Copyright © 2021

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