Hawkwatching & Hearing Loss

On Blueberry Ridge

Meade Cadot, viewed in profile as he looks through binoculars. A hearing aid is visible in his left ear. (photo © Sandy Taylor)

What happens when you lose your hearing aid at a Hawk Watch? Sometimes, it makes a migration of its own…
(photo © Sandy Taylor)

For a couple of decades, the Harris Center’s annual hawkwatching took place on Crotched Mountain’s Blueberry Ridge. In 1995, I convinced local radio and TV celebrity Fritz Wetherbee to bring his camera crew up to the ridge for an episode of New Hampshire Crossroads. Back in those days, TV cameras were more than a handful, and fingers were crossed as they were lugged up to the ridgetop. Low and behold, just as the cameras were ready to roll, 1000+ hawks — mostly Broad-wingeds — streamed right over us. That episode was aired many times over the next few years, and often viewers didn’t realize they were watching history rather than current affairs.


About a decade later, during a lull in the hawk show, I decided to trim back the ever-growing saplings that were (and are again) springing up to obscure the view. So, I put my hearing aid in my Harris Center hat and plunged into the brush with a handsaw. When I returned to the hawk watch, I donned my cap, forgetting about the hearing aid. In the process, the hearing aid fell out into the broad grassy area where all the watchers were gathered.

Later, realizing what had happened, I called around to borrow a metal detector, and my wife Sandy and I went back to the ridge to look. However, we soon realized that there is so little metal in a tiny hearing aid nowadays that the search was futile.

…& Found

Months went by while I agonized about whether and when to invest in a new hearing aid. Then I got a call from Noel, my audiologist. The hearing aid had surfaced — in Manchester! It seems someone who was up on Blueberry Ridge for the hawk watch had found the hearing aid and put it in the pocket of her coat. Sometime later, the coat was donated to the Veterans’ Administration in Manchester. Staff there had found the hearing aid, but none of their clients were missing one. Thankfully, the hearing aid had a serial number, and that allowed it to be tracked back to Noel, my audiologist. Boy, was I glad when she called — saving me several thousand dollars!

–Meade Cadot