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Tom Martin, Bookseller
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This was the scene in front of The Book Plate on Cross Street on Monday afternoon: one dead pigeon, one stunned hawk, one vigilant cat.
It happened about 1 p.m. Sarah Myers was inside the bookstore when she heard a THUD and looked up to see the birds fall from an awning outside the shop.

"The pigeon looked dead and the hawk . . . his eyes were open but he wasn't moving. His head was hanging down, almost lifeless." Wanting to do something, Sarah picked up the hawk. She soon put it down. "It was very foolish of me," she says now. "I won't do it again."

A few minutes after that, the hawk (believed to be a Cooper's) got to its feet and held one wing as if it were broken. Sarah began phoning around for bird rescue. "Just as I got someone who sounded like they knew what to do, the bird flew away," she says. The entire incident lasted maybe half an hour. The cat, which Sarah says "was just an excited observer," never left the window.
Drew McMullen, president of Sultana Projects, who took the photo, reports: "Apparently the hawk chased the pigeon into the second story window of the Book Plate, where the pigeon broke his neck and the hawk got a nasty bump on the head."

The pigeon likely belonged to the flock that roosts under the draw-up span of the Chester River Bridge. There was, notably, only one snow-white bird in that flock of maybe fifty, and pigeon fanciers will be watching for and probably lamenting its absence. Every hunter knows, what stands out in nature will be taken down. Even, as we see, in downtown Chestertown.

Printed with kind permission of The Chestertown Spy
Originally printed in The Chestertown Spy, December 15, 2009 by John Lang
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