One of the standards of my front porch experiences as a child was to watch all the birds that populated our yard and the skies above it, so birds have come to mean a real escape for me from the every day craziness. Those feathered creatures that aren't tied like us to this earth soar and dive in my imagination and spring most often from the memories from my childhood. As we followed the eagle with ours I am so eager to see the paths it follows and the circles it can makes in patterns in the sky above us.
As we sit I scan the lake below for possible prey and from where we are sitting there really isn't movement that I can see. As the great bird circles higher and then lower the pattern takes in that closer view for a small rodent or bird that might be lunch today. For many, the raptors of our skies are to be ignored or even hated, after all they eat those little birds that frequent our home feeders. For me these majestic birds are as interesting as the many species that frequent my own backyard feeders.
Don't get me wrong, I love to watch all the little feathered critters that frequent my yard and am usually part of the bird count every year. But I'm also am excited when a Copper's, or Sharp shinned hawks make a pass through my yard. I can often find them resting on a branch of tree watching my feeder area very carefully.
For me all the birds are an integral part of the well rounded backyard experience. Over the years some of the wild creatures have crept back into suburban life and on the whole that's a good thing. We actually have fox and wild turkeys that frequent our yard at times as well raccoon and possum. There have even been sighting of a coyote or two in some of the area cornfields. For many this is a source of concern, but for me it is something I've always experienced because I grew up quite a distance from any city.
To me the best part of my front porch experience often is what nature has to offer. Watching all of those creatures that frequent our yard these days are a real gift and I'm glad I can see and enjoy them many times during many of our summer evenings.