It’s about time someone wrote a book of poems about Hawk Ridge in Duluth. And it took a newcomer to do it. Author Phil Fitzpatrick (Hawks on High: Everyday Miracles in a Hawk Ridge Season) has only been coming to the popular bird migration counting station on the ridge for two years. However, with his “new eyes,” that was long enough for him to amass enough poems for this book. His poems are combined with pen and ink drawings by artist Penny Perry.
My favorite poem is “Pringles Prize.” It describes how the hawk ridge workers use Pringles potato chip cans to contain the hawks they catch in mist nets on the ridge. Once the hawks are slipped into the cans, their legs can be easily banded for later identification. Before a hawk is released, the birder eases it “from its cardboard confines” for a short show-and-tell to the gathered bird-watchers. Then it “lifts above wide-eyed kids who now love hawks even more than Pringles.”
Love the wonder and subtle humor of that ending! I gave “Hawks on High” five out of five stars on Goodreads.