This hawk (either a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk or juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, a representative of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology tells me), which recently landed outside my office window, is wonderful evidence of the impact of her powerful book.
When I was a boy in the fifties and sixties, my friends and I never saw hawks and we would have noticed them. When my parents took me from Janesville, Wisconsin, where I grew up, to my birthplace in northern Wisconsin—Shawano County—we didn’t see hawks or eagles there either. And we never saw them when we traveled the highways of Wisconsin which we did regularly.
Raptor numbers had declined precipitously.
After Carson’s book, DDT and many other chemicals were banned and, by the 1970s, I saw my first hawks. Now, hawks are common again, and I frequently see them circling in the skies outside my office window. Rarely does one land as this one did but it clearly had been attracted by the birds visiting the feeder that is to its right.
Eagles too have made a comeback, and we frequently see them when we visit a family cabin in Florence County, Wisconsin. Moreover, a nesting pair was reported last summer in a community only about 20 miles north of Milwaukee.
Thank you, Rachel Carson!