Wednesday, August 9, 2017

hawk eye

A flash of a dark shape caught the corner of my eye. A bird was battering himself against the glass, trapped in an atrium stairwell. And not just any bird, but a red-shouldered hawk. He fell to the ground exhausted, and I covered him and wrapped him with my overshirt. There was no one around so late in the evening.

I’ve heard a screeching hawk hunting the forest near my office. I love the call of these small but fierce birds. Was this the one I’ve been hearing?

I took him to the edge of the woodland area behind my office. His beak was gaping open, eyes wide. I softly set him down. I did gently stretch his wings which appeared unhurt. I quietly left him there in the golden weeds. Then I tried to call wildlife rescue.

Who were closed for the day. Decisions. I could put him in a dark box all night, and hope he survived until 8am when they reopened. Or let nature take its course.

I got a box and towel from the office. But just waited. About 10 minutes later I walked down to the edge of the parking lot and woodland, he was still there. His wings a bit akimbo, laying strangely in the weeds. I thought the worst.

But on hearing my hesitant steps, he launched himself into the air and took flight. Was it just fear, and did he later fall from the sky to crash into the forest below? I don’t know. But I watched him fly across the pond reeds and into the forest. I think part of my heart took flight with him.

I hope to hear his screeching cry another morning, disturbing the silence, reminding us of his small strength.

hawk hunting ground: overgrown pond and oaks

today, there were only turkeys


  1. Wow this is a goosebump story!
    In my old area I had this sounds on a daily basis without knowing which bird it was. But it always pulled at my heart. After reading your story I miss that sound.

    1. Hearing the birds is just such a reminder that hidden nature abounds!

  2. I just had to say, I love this. In April I purchased my horse Jean-Luc Ponycard (it'd been ten years since I'd owned one). He's a TWH, and your post reminds me of what we're working towards - obtain more simple tails from the trail and mountain life.

    I hope the bird is okay.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. OMG, a Star Trek horse, I love him already! The trail is such an exploration, near or far, unknown or familiar (or in this case, my work parking lot!) you can always find something interesting if you really take the time to look (or listen).

  3. Good on you! And thank you for sharing. =)

    I've only had one red shouldered hawk in hand, but they're closely related to red tails and I can say from all of my experience with red tails, they LOVE to gape their mouth open at you. Additionally, if you're only holding them by their feet they'll often hold their wings out like a vulture sunning itself. That combined with the open mouth, tongue out is quite impressive - which is their intent I'm certain!