There are specific moments in every person’s life that either alter the universe, or are carried close to the heart, every day forward.
On Saturday, September 22nd, I experienced one of those moments. I was given the extreme honor of releasing a rehabilitated Red-tailed hawk back into the wild. When Dara Reid, Director of Wildlife in Crisis approached me about the release, I was very humbled and excited about the opportunity.
At the moment when the hawk was to be released back into the wild, I was overcome with the emotions I could feel emanating from the hawk resting in my arms.
But let’s go back in time.
Imagine, living your life in the wild, the way it is meant to be. Suddenly, your world is turned upside down – and you are hit by a car on the Merritt Parkway. Hurting and injured and not quite understanding what happened. A Good Samaritan stops to retrieve your injured body – delivering it to Wildlife in Crisis – a very lucky day for the Red-tailed hawk.
Despite the care and nurturing, attention to wounds and hurts, and the quiet spa setting – with no worries about hunting for food – once the hawk is feeling better, and due to the way Wildlife in Crisis approaches the care they provide – he is still wild. A very good thing!
So, during his long days, when he is alert and nearing the end of his recovery, his view of the world is through wire mesh. The heights, although wonderful for a bird in captivity, leave his heart longing for the feel of the wind on his wings and against his face as he soars through the air! But alas, he is not quite ready.
Fast forward to the day he is released. He is taken and placed in a carrier and goes for a long car ride from Weston’s Wildlife in Crisis back to Greenwich where he was originally found. Healthy now, he is feeling quite put out and wants to be free of his carrier. When the vehicle stops, he hears many voices, and feels the box lifted and carried somewhere. His guardian, Dara, removes him from the
confines of the carrier –and at that moment, he is mesmerized by what he sees –
trees and sky without wire mesh!
As the person holding him prior to his transition back into the wild – with avid wildlife fans in attendance – I could feel all of those emotions culminating in this one magical moment. He was home!
Visit Wildlife in Crisis on Facebook to see the complete video of the hawks released last Saturday and Sunday at Greenwich Audubon. Be sure to “Like” the Wildlife in Crisis page, if you are a fan of the many heartwarming stories you will see!