The resilience of wildlife always amazes and inspires me. And the ability to learn to communicate with them through our eyes, energy, and silent movement is also an affirmation of the power of love and intention. For those not as familiar with me, I have a degree in Wildlife Ecology, am Reiki I attuned, and completed formal study in the healing arts of being a green witch. I am also an executive director and licensed wildlife rehabilitator at a wildlife medical clinic and environmental education facility. Our goal is to connect people to wildlife and understand that our health depends wholeheartedly on wildlife and environmental health. We try to get every injured and orphaned animal back to the wild where they will live their most fulfilled life, but in some cases animals are not able to be released because of injury or poaching (being taken from the wild and made tame by members of the public).
This red tailed hawk was admitted to a similar organization in New Jersey. He was nestled in his nest with his siblings in a large tree, the nest thoughtfully woven together with birch and other sticks and branches, and lined with downy feathers from Mom. Their Dad worked every day to hunt prey, up to 8 rodents each while the nestlings were growing. This happens in our backyards and forests all spring and summer long. Though rodents play their own role planting seeds and acorns for our berry bushes, trees and meadows, imagine if raptors were gone? We would die of disease very quickly.
At some point, either a developer or a landowner decided the tree needed to come down, perhaps unaware that there was a nest of regal, rose gold feathered red tailed hawks being raised by their parents that had worked for months making the nest, defending territory, protecting their young from predators and driving rains of the spring. Thankfully they were brought to a wildlife center and cared for, but unfortunately this hawk was not able to hunt and soar like his sibling, so they knew he would be a good fit for sanctuary and education.
Yesterday I had the honor of getting him on the glove for the first time. He was intrepid, and I thought about everything he had gone through. Nest cut down, taken from parents, treated by giant predators (humans), traveling from New Jersey to Maine. And yet, through quiet movements, visualizing a soft white and purple protective bubble around him, talking very softly, and head bow exchanges, we were able to take a walk together through a hectic medical facility and then out to the forest and to his new outdoor home. No open mouth breathing, no spreading wings in aggressive posture, and no flying off the glove or deciding not to perch on it.
Instead we got to know each other, his wonderment at his new surroundings clear but also his openness to what we have to offer and my silent communications of love and trust. I told him I have had other red tailed hawk friends, and that we would have many birdwatching and forest walk adventures. And that I couldn’t wait for him to be comfortable enough to show us his goofy and unique interests, perhaps taking baths in vernal pools or favorite sunny sit spots. I was vibrating with honor to interact with him and wildlife in general this way, and learn from their resilience particularly at this time. I just might have made a new red tailed hawk friend🧡