The morning after I finished putting the final touches on an epic one-on-one Adventure Program I am creating, this happened...
June 24, 2016: Early in the morning...
After my morning meditation, I was sitting in the grass with my dog while looking at an adult hawk sitting on a tree limb above me. Over the past month, this became part of my morning ritual. Two adult hawks have a nest near the top of a tall pine tree located on the property where I live.
As I sat there, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something big fly toward the house. I heard a loud noise and knew a large bird hit a sliding glass door. Lucky took off running and arrived before I could. Screeching to a halt after a full sprint, I saw Lucky sitting on the ground staring at a hawk laying on it's back, eyes closed, breathing and out cold.
I didn't have time to go get a towel or something else to wrap around my hands, nor do I have bird of prey gloves laying around. Yes, I could have taken off my shirt and put it around my hands, but I didn't think of that little trick until later. I was acting in the moment as I gently put my right hand under his head. He snapped out of his delirium for a moment with eyes focusing on mine. I froze for a moment as he drifted back into unconsciousness. While he was out, I gingerly slipped my left hand under his back and lifted him up as I stood. While walking him to a cushioned bench to set him down, he woke once more. He did not struggle. He just stared into my eyes. A few moments later, I set him down upon the cushioned bench.
A few moments drifted by...slowly. He woke again and flipped over now standing upright. He and I stared at each other while Lucky looked on in silence without any aggression.
The hawk flapped his wings and fell to the ground standing. After moving around a bit for about an hour, he flew a few yards away and landed on the patio nearby. During the hour by the bench, my friend Katherine arrived to witness the event. Katherine looked after lucky while I set up a video camera and called the local animal rescue facility.
Jan at the rescue facility informed me that she was dealing with several other animal rescues and advised me on what to do until she or someone else could get to us. I texted and called her throughout the day with updates...Jan was wonderful.
After a couple of hours of movement on the ground, the hawk flew to the top of a gazebo less than twenty feet away. Knowing he could fly any place he wished was a great sign he was on his way to recovery.
About fifteen minutes later, we watched him fall off the top of the gazebo into a thick bush. His wings splayed with talons desperately holding onto branches. He was struggling. I could feel his frustration.
I immediately took off my shirt and wrapped it around my right hand. This time, I had the thought of protecting myself from sharp talons. Slowly while the hawk struggled, I placed my hand next to one of his sharp talons. He grabbed onto my hand. I shoved my hand farther into the bush towards his other talon. He now had both talons securely locked onto my shirt wrapped around my hand. I slowly pulled my hand back towards my body and freed the hawk from the bush.
I fully expected the hawk to fly away once he was free of the bush. He chose to stay with me. I now had a hawk standing on my right and looking me directly in my eyes with both of his. He remained on my hand for almost an hour.
Now with he hawk in my hand, I wanted some pics and video...who wouldn't? This was one of the most epic flowing moments of my life and I know I'll want to come back to this years from now. I'll be a grandfather in a few months and would love to show this to my grandchild and already living nieces and nephews. Kids love this kind of experience.
Katherine was an angel for witnessing and taking control of Lucky for me while the hawk was on my hand. She was able to take a pic with her phone before it lost power. Katherine wanted to turn on the video for me but she was making sure Lucky was at a safe distance. The camera was too close to me and the hawk, so I asked her to remain where she was.
I walked slowly to the camera with the hawk still sitting on my hand. The hawk stood still while still staring into my eyes.
Have you ever had that experience? If you have, you know the power of that stare. If you haven't, just know it is very intense.
While I walked with the hawk, I spoke to him. He seemed to like my voice and seemed to be listening. I never felt fear from him. His talons on my hand never dug into my skin. He seemed totally chill as he sat there looking at me.
I was able to both record video and snap off pics while working the camera with my left hand as the hawk stood in my right.
My arm got tired. I walked us over to my painting easel which was horizontal at the time, forming a flat surface with a small perch. I sat my hand on the easel thinking the hawk would step off onto the perch. He just stood in my hand and looked at me as if to say, "What? You want me to get off of your comfy hand? No, dude...I'm comfortable right where I am."
After a few moments, I tilted my hand so he had to move onto the easel. He complied. The hawk remained on the perch for over two hours.
The day with the hawk began around eight o'clock in the morning. The time at this point was around four in the afternoon. The hawk took off from the easel and flew about thirty feet and landed on top of a fence separating us from the neighbor.
After about an hour on the fence, the hawk fell onto the ground on the other side of the fence in the neighbor's yard. I climbed to the top of the fence and saw the hawk sitting on the ground looking up at me. With my heart pounding, I sprinted around to the neighbor's house and rang the doorbell. Nothing. I took off again in a full sprint, hopped their fence (didn't see the gate) and ran over to where the hawk was sitting on the ground. As I stood there looking at him and wondering what to do next, he took off into the air and flew high into a tree.
Safe, he seemed to be. I smiled, returned home and felt a great peace in my heart knowing he had recovered after a very long day.
He never uttered a sound that day and into the night. I slept peacefully assuming he did the same.
June 25, 2016:
I heard him calling as I meditated in the same grassy area from the day before when it all began. I looked up and saw the same young hawk looking down upon me.
I remained with the hawk the entire day waiting with him as he waited for adult hawks to feed him. Adults never came by that day and I began to worry about whether or not he could feed himself. I was prepared all day to go and get him a "feeder mouse" and declared that I would in the morning if no adults came by.
From time to time as I walked around the yard, the hawk would fly from tree to tree. I felt good he could fly. He began to call loudly as I walked. This day was the first time I heard him speak. I called back. I have always been able to chirp like a bird.
June 26, 2016:
Again, I walked from the house into the grassy area of the back yard. I sat in the chair once again to begin my mediation. This time, the hawk was high in the pine tree as I heard him calling. I could see him sitting in the nest near the top of the pine tree. I was sitting under a tree on the opposite side of the yard.
Fifteen minutes later, while I was looking up at him and while my housemate/landlady, Roby Lynn Chevance was watering her plants, the hawk swooped down from the pine tree, flew close to my head and arced up to a tree limb above my head.
"Did you see that, Roby?"
Roby was smiling and was as blown away as I was.
"Yes, Greg. Do you want me to go get a mouse?"
Roby is a kind woman and would never want to kill even an ant, let alone go get a live mouse which she knows will have to die. She loves all beings and feels everything. Yet, she was willing to go do that for the hawk. I was prepared to do what must be done for the hawk. I was not fired up about it, but I knew what must be done in order to keep the hawk strong enough until he could hunt on his own.
Roby departed as I sat with the hawk above my head now calling loudly. I knew he was hungry.
Thirty minutes later, the young hawk began going seemingly crazy. He was calling rapidly. I then heard another hawk. It was an adult and it had a fresh meal. The young hawk flew to the adult hawk who gave the fresh kill to the young one. I immediately called Roby. She was sitting in the parking lot of a pet store when I called her. Roby had not gone in yet. I haven't known her for very long, but that was the most joy I have heard from her yet. Roby and I were both tested from the Divine that day. We passed. :)
Adults came to feed the young one several times that day. I celebrated later with a surf session in Cardiff. Whew.
Over the next several days and up to the present moment in time as I write this piece, the hawk is alive, well fed and getting bigger.
The hawk has flown down to me several times to withing arms reach. I do not reach for him, although I have wanted to do so. I just want to make sure he can take care of himself and that he is accepted by his tribe of other hawks in the area. Perhaps one day in the future, if the hawks keeps coming to see me, I will reach out and see if he wants to sit upon me again. Only time will tell that part of the story.
I have been told recently that the hawk is actually a "she." This makes sense as I look at her size...she is as big, if not bigger, than the female who tends the nest. Male Cooper Hawks are smaller than females. I have written about her in the masculine up until this point, because during those times, that is what I felt and that is the way I saw her as I saved her life.
One of the most epic flowing moments of my life. Can a being other than a human deliver a profound message to you? I believe the answer is a simple yes. Messages are forever incoming. Listen with your heart and you shall receive.
This morning, July 1, 2016, I walked outside and heard her calling. The same chair I had moved to the grass was in the same spot it has been for days now. I walked over to the chair and sat in preparation for my morning meditation. She called once more. I looked up. She was on a limb about ten feet directly above my chair. She was looking straight into my eyes as I closed them and meditated.