Back in the day, I used to participate in Sweat Lodges with some American Indians. If they saw a hawk or eagle fly overhead before the sweat, they were extremely pleased, and explained such a thing was a very good omen. In fact, any time you see a hawk or eagle fly by, its a good omen.
Recently, a few miles down the road from my house, but a short distance as the crow flies (so to speak), a housing development began on some platted land. Putting in the access road meant uprooting many trees, and apparently destroyed the habitat of a couple of eagles, or at least made their home turf feel uncomfortably un-private. Driving by this new road the other day, I noted a hawk sitting on a power line right by it–a hawk I had never seen there before.
A few days later I was sitting in my living room and noticed something white flash back and forth past my window a couple of times. I checked around the front of my yard and saw a hawk standing on a branch high up in one of my trees at the edge of the yard. I guessed it was from the developed area and looking for a new place to call home.
As I surveyed my yard, along with the hawk, I noticed that the usual squirrels, rabbits, and crows were nowhere to be seen. I then saw another very large bird near it with different coloring–maybe a mate (I know next to nothing about birds). I was equally pleased with the grandeur of these raptors and the fact that their diet consisted of the pests in my yard (except for deer, regrettably).
The next morning I woke to the sound of tiny birds chirping as opposed to the cacaphony of crows that had greeted each new day for the two years I have lived here. The usual murder (flock) of crows were nowhere to be seen.
I would gladly spend a princely sum to convince these hawks that they were welcome to live in my yard with my complete protection and support, but I know of no way to do this.
While I haven’t seen the hawks since then, I think and hope my yard is on the list of places they hunt for food every day, as I haven’t heard or seen crows in my yard for several days. I saw a squirrel a bit ago, but he was discreetly slinking by rather than the usual running all over the place.
(Updated 9/10/2012 to reflect the identification of the birds as hawks, not eagles.)