Thursday, July 16, 2009
On my gussied up days--a couple of times a week-- I put on mascara. Radical beauty regime, right? The other day, I about dropped the Maybelline when I heard a loud boom. LOUD boom. I looked outside our living room window. A red-tailed hawk had flown into the window and was sitting on the ground. He was stunned and BIG [they have four feet wing spans] and looked to be unscathed, just a little dazed. Like, if he were in a cartoon there would be little birds flying around his noggin'.
I called Wildlife Rescue for advice-- not that I was going to offer him an ice pack or ask how many fingers I was holding up-- but you get the feeling these creatures--majestic, okay? I know the adjective is overused when it comes to birds of prey, but he was majestic. Lots of pride. The live free or die thing. What did I need to do to protect him?
The cool thing about the Wildlife Rescue line is that it's staffed by volunteers who specialize in different kinds of wild critters, so you get the message asking you to "press 1 if you need help with an injured raccoon, press 2 if you need help with an injured possum, 3 for squirrels and chipmunks, 4 for hawks and owls..."and on and on. So I pushed 4, and talked to a kind, collected hawk expert lady who told me to watch my handsome raptor friend, and if in two hours he hadn't flown or at least perched somewhere-- then call her back. "They usually come out of those dazes fine after they fly into something," she said, which vastly relieved me. Not that I was going to finish applying mascara or anything, but she calmed me down. She probably heard the panic in my voice.
I was already a fan of Hawk, even if he was staking out the birdfeeder, 'cause hey, hawks got to eat, right? I loved his bright yellow feet and his piercing stare and his- "I meant to do that" attitude, as he, several minutes later, hopped up on the front porch step, gazing across the front yard. Did I mention he had a wingspan of four feet? The wildlife rescue lady told me the important thing for me to do was to keep dogs, cats, and people away from him until he recovered. That was no problem-- he looked fierce and intimidating-- a feathered gorgeous gargoyle there on our front porch. Ain't nobody getting near that.
Meanwhile, the chickadees, wrens, cardinals, Jays, and titmice were raising a ruckus. There are lots of nests in our yard, and baby birds, and the birds clabbered and called like weather sirens, but Hawk remained unfazed, unflappable until he flapped and flew--to our neighbor's tree, and then up and away.
He came back later that day with his peeps [his mate? his parents?] for a little squirrel buffet in the backyard.
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