As self-proclaimed “Keeper of the Chicken” I’m not generally a big fan of hawks. Birds of prey are not something I want close to my coop however they are incredible birds, of that there is no doubt. And as long as they are catching rats, rabbits, snakes, frogs or whatever else they find in the wild I’m happy to see them thrive. That being said I was greatly saddened on Mother’s Day, Rob and I went for a 4-wheeler ride a few minutes before dark, puttering down our dirt road. He spied the hawk first, hunkered down atop the shallow ditch. We thought for a minute he had a catch and was guarding it but as we got closer realized he couldn’t see us. Blind in both eyes and trying hard to be brave. He didn’t try to fly or retreat in any way. He made himself as fierce as possible. Of course I didn’t have my camera and thought twice about taking his picture, such a dignified bird should not be portrayed otherwise. My reason for sharing the pictures is to show the character of a bird with a strong heart. We went back home not only for my camera but also for a chicken. Yes. That’s right, a chicken. I never thought I’d feed a hawk a chicken but I had boiled one (not one of MINE of course) and there was a lot of meat left on the carcass. We took it to him and placed it close as we dared, while blind his claws and beak still posed a real threat.
That night we had a vicious storm and the next day he was gone. It looked like he had eaten, I hope he did. Had he still been there we would have tried to find a bird rescue to come fetch him. Sometimes though, nature must simply take its course.