Today I experienced something that is certainly not an everyday occurrence. I headed out to pick up Cupcake from preschool and realized I still had about 45 minutes. So, I turned around and headed to a little shop up the road. When I took the off-ramp I glanced over to the grass and saw a huge bird. After yelling “Oh sh#$ that’s a hawk,” I took the next right and drove like a bat out of hell through the backside of KFC.
A red tail hawk was perched up on a grassy knoll and I thought he might be guarding his lunch. Of course, I didn’t have either camera with me so I knew I would have to use my camera phone. I walked slowly toward the hawk and he just seemed to look at me, not moving, then ignoring me. Continuing on, I kept snapping and zooming with the camera phone.
And finally I was about 6 feet away from him….
He decided to fly away from me just a little bit, but kept very low to the ground. I thought something might be wrong. I looked around and didn’t see anything that he might have been guarding. So, I decided to take a video of this beautiful creature.
In the video you can see that he is keeping an eye on the crows that were flying overhead.
Two painter-guys stopped. After a brief conversation, painter-guy decided to try an scare him into flight to see if he really was injured. Yep. He was favoring his left leg and wing just a little bit. Enough that he couldn’t get more than about 4 feet off the ground.
At this point painter-guy decided he must be captured……the crows numbers were growing and they were getting anxious. Today I learned that crows actually kill hawks. Sad, but true.
We formed a posse, well a 3-person posse, and tried to throw a coat over the hawk. Hawk flew into some dead shrubs and painter-guy called several facilities. They said they would take him in, but they couldn’t send anyone out. That meant that we would have to capture the poor creature.
We formed our 3-person posse again and tried to tire hawk out. We accomplished this after about 15 minutes and painter-guy threw his coat over the hawk and rushed in to grab him. He immediately flipped hawk on his back so that he wouldn’t get clawed. He brought him out and we started walking quickly to painter-guy’s truck.
I must say, I think hawk was pretty relieved. He only hissed a little bit and didn’t even struggle. Painter-guy, on the other hand, was shaking like a leaf. He just wanted to get hawk to safety. He friend got in the driver’s seat and I stood in the passenger door gazing at this beautiful bird in painter'-guy’s lap.
I have never been that up close and personal with a bird of prey. Amazing, awesome, thrilling, exhilarating, etc…..
I asked painter-guy if he was okay and he nervously said yes. While he held that creature I gently placed his coat over the hawks body and made sure hawk’s head was tucked into the coat sleeve. I looked at painter-guy with tears in my eyes and saw tears in his. I asked him again if he was okay and he said yes.
I told him thank you and he said, “If it wasn’t for you stopping to take you pictures this big guy would be dead in a hour, so thank you.”
I looked at him, touched that coat one last time and said, Merry Christmas.
Just as he was closing the door, I yelled, “Oh yea…..make sure you don’t let that big guy go in your truck.” They both laughed and I watched them leave.
When I told my younger daughter this story she said, “Well I guess you can cross that one off your bucket list.”
I saw a saying around a picture frame today that said It’s not the day you remember, but the moment.
I will always remember the moment.
Thank you God for changing my path today.