Being one of the "bird people" at the office, I was picked to help out with International Migratory Bird Day. Easy as pie for me, since I didn't have to do any of the planning, but did drive the shuttle van to get our participants to the starting area at Hains Point.
We split up into two teams and walked around looking for birds. Some of the kids were surprisingly enthusiastic. Like, threateningly enthusiastic. I stopped to eat mulberries and talk about berry eating birds like the huge flock of cedar waxwings all around us. We saw some of the usual suspects like red-wing blackbirds, song sparrows, fish crows, common grackles, and an osprey. Nothing too fancy like the pine warbler I saw a week later.
After that was done, we met up with representatives from the Earth Conservation Corps, who brought two of their raptors, a red-tailed hawk and a Harris hawk.
The Harris hawk was raised in captivity, and they allowed it to fly from one ECC person to another. That worked fine the first couple times, until the crows started getting agitated. Then the hawk deviated from the flight plan and perched in a big elm tree. "Sometimes she does that to get a better view," said the speaker, "But she'll come back." Meanwhile the vet was frantically looking for the bag o' mouse parts to lure it back. After a minute, the crisis was resolved. Can I count it as a rare wild bird sighting if it's not in a cage and not in someone's hand?