Friday, January 22, 2016

The "Hawk Whisperer"

The day started out calm and beautiful.  The surf was not up but the usual array of flora and fauna   were around to watch as I sipped coffee and decided to drive up to the beach at La Manzanilla to see what the surf was like and visit some friends.

Upon returning, an event occurred that I have never experienced before.  A grey hawk had almost drowned in the horse trough behind the house where Mariposa drinks frequently.  My friend John on going to inspect that there was enough water for Mariposa the horse,  saw a saturated hawk that was so waterlogged that it could not get out.  He managed to get him out and brought him over by the house.

And then the adventure began.  The hawk was totally docile at this point.  Attempting to get water off of him did not help much.  He shivered and just stood there, not moving.  A few times he just fell over.
 Aha, then the bright idea to use my hair dryer.  I thought it would freak out the bird, but it was too weak to resist.  The photo above was after the hair dryer.  John put a leg wrap on it so it wouldn't fall off the deck.
 He set it on the stump of one of the trees lost in Hurricane Patricia that we use as a table in the evenings while we watch the sun set.  He was placed there.
 Eventually, like about an hour later, when he would walk toward it it would spread its wings and also
let John hold him.  A few times when he spread his wings, he just fell backwards
John talked to it and petted it.  He became the "Hawk Whisperer".   It was quite a spectacular sight to watch a wild raptor be so docile. Then as it began to get stronger, John fed it some watermelon.  It did not eat the pulp but did drink the juice.

Still I doubted it would fly off as it looked so sickly and acted that way.  At one point, John walked away and the hawk jumped up on its feet and started to fly off.  The leg tie was removed, but still
we doubted that it was strong enough to fly.  After sitting and observing it for at least another thirty minutes, we got up to go into the house to fix dinner.  We had no sooner turned our backs then the hawk took off and landed in a tree over at the edge of the property.                                                   We were astonished and thrilled at the flight and recovery of the grey hawk.  Our very own National Geographic episode!


cantinero 46 said...


Retired Teacher said...

What a wonderful story!

Peter Kouwenhoven said...

Amazing recovery! Great story.

Jvineyard said...

Wow. What a great story. I wonder if it will come back. Thanks for sharing.

Jvineyard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Babs said...

It was once again, one of those moments that you can't imagine ever happening!

Scott said...

Great pictures along with as a great story.

Babs said...

Thanks Scott.

Anonymous said...

Somehow, I noticed the URL (something "hairdryer and watermelon) and it really made me wonder how this post had started life, but then it became clear as I read through it. You all are brave to handle a hawk; any hawk with normal strength could easily have ripped fingers off.

But I'm glad all ended well.


Kim G
DF, Mexico
Where a recent trip to Malinalco revealed LOTS of hawks.

Babs said...

Kim, I was way back taking photos and never got near the hawk! I'm a scared y cat.