For this bird I have prayed....

“Anyone who has ever stopped to watch a hawk in flight will know that this is one of the natural world’s most elegant phenomena.” ~ John Burnside

August 7th, 2016
This is a Swainson Hawk that I found on the side of the road. I contacted the powers to find someone to rehabilitate her. Unfortunately, she would have to go to Lincoln Nebraska to the Raptor Rehabilitation Center. They felt that she would not be able to handle the long trip. (Plus, she would be so far out of her habitat.) So..... I was told if I thought I could rehab her to do what I could and if not they would arrange for her transfer. When I found her she was very weak and not able to move. From what I get from this little gal is that she just fledged, making her only 38-46 days old. She was not able to hunt successfully and got weak and cold. So...... This is where I came in.

If you know me you know that if I come across an injured or sick animal I will do what I can for it. I just can not just walk away and let nature take its course. She was sitting on the side of our road so I pulled over and walked up to her. She was not able do do anything but flop over. So I picked her up put her in my car and covered her with a blanket to keep her from being frightened. (My daughters could have all used a blanket as well.They were freaking out because I was putting a Hawk in the car with them) I brought her home and put her in the brooder room in my chicken house with water and some ground beef. She ate every bite and drank all the water. 

In two weeks she  graduated to the main part of the chicken house. (my chickens are in another building) She had  grown stronger every day and  had eaten more and more everyday. I was hopeful she will begin to take flight again soon so I could  release her. I kept telling her she needed  to hurry up because she needed to migrate to Central America.         

I took her out and tried to encourage her to take flight but she just tried to climb up my arm. (unless you have had a hawk walk up your arm you do not know the pain and injury this causes) On one occasion she jumped from my gloved hand to the top of my head.  When I went back in the house my family freaked out because I had blood running down my head.  When they asked what happened I said, "the hawk jumped on my head"  I looked like I was in a terrible accident.  Needless, to say I went out with a hat on my head from that day on.  

August 29th 2016 She flew off on her own. Dave (my husband) came home about 1:30 and the Hawk was clinging on one of the window screens of the house. He called me, (I was at work) and said, "Your hawk is clinging to the screen on the window next to the front door of the house." Then he says, "What do you want me to do with her?" I asked if I should come home and help her. Dave said he was going to watch her and make sure she was able to get down. He called me and said that she had gotten off the screen and flown onto the lawn. He went in the house and got a broom and had her step up on the stick. (he was not sure about picking her up like I did) Dave took her back down to the chicken house and she flew off the stick to a near by fence rail. He said she looked at him for a little while then took flight and headed west. Dave said he watched her until he could not see her anymore. Why she flew up to the house is beyond me. I would like to think it was to say good bye. The chicken house is a fair distance from the house. However, it is almost a straight shot to our house. I am sure she could see me through the open chicken house door coming to feed her in the morning and shut her in at night. I wish I was home to see her leave, but thankful Dave was there to tell me about it. With a few tears in my eye I prayed that she makes it.  Though she was wild she knew I was her person, we had great respect for each other. (me more for her, those talons are razor sharp). We left the chicken house door open just in case she needs to come home. 

She never did return to the chicken house after that day.  I think of her every time I see a Bird Of Prey!   I wonder if she made it to Central America that year,  I wonder if she is still alive.   I will never know what became of her.  I thank GOD that I was her person  for  a short while.   It was my honor and privileged to help her on her way.  

Nebraska Prairie Girl

"Hunting Hawks do not belong in cages not matter how men coveted their grace, no matter how golden the bars.  They are far more beautiful soaring and free.  Heartbreakingly  Beautiful! - Lois McMaster Bujold


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