Yesterday I stepped out of my house and was startled by a huge bird only about two feet above my head, gliding almost soundlessly away from me. It was a gorgeous Red-tailed Hawk that had been sitting on the little roof right over the back door - a perch that provides a great view of feeders. I've seen a Red-tailed several times in nearby open fields by the now-frozen beaver pond. This bird must have noticed activity in my yard and decided it would be easier to find lunch there than in the open - and it could snuggle up against the house, out of the wind.
I've always known these birds are big and impressive - but I never felt it as much as yesterday, when I could almost have touched one!