Today’s run was turning into a nightmare. Wasn’t planning to go but another power cut prematurely ended work for the day. Thirty minutes later I was trying to run uphill into strong headwind. Already my mojo was rapidly ebbing away. A glance to the heavens (maybe for inspiration) stopped me in my tracks. A stunning predator was circling almost immediately above me.

Given how badly my running was going I’m surprised it wasn’t a vulture.

For a wonderful few minutes it was man against beast. A perfectly designed flying acrobat versus a muppet with his mobile phone camera. Only ever going to be one winner. So the photos are a little lacking in sharpness.

My running struggles were long forgotten.

Five minutes later my new feathered friend was off.

Now on my own the quick realisation that standing still in this icy gale force wind was not great for exposed legs. What possessed me to wear shorts. I was absolutely frozen . The prospect of a warm shower contributed to a rapid return run. My mojo was definitely healed by the encounter. We are so fortunate to have birds of prey hunt in the farmers field behind the house. It’s such a thrill for our Son. To get glimpses of these spectacular birds and not have to leave the safety of his garden.

Our Son has always loved animals. Of all his toys the birds of prey were always amongst his favourites and centre stage in his games. He developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things to do with falconry. When he was a little older he got the chance to handle some of his most loved birds.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen kids with Aspergers bond with birds of prey.

From about the age of five Son started to struggle at school. Suddenly he was withdrawing from group activities, becoming more insular and ill at ease with society. He would avoid physical interaction and all eye contact. So utterly unsure of himself and lacking in confidence outside of the safety of his home. Yet here was the same kid who was at ease and completely relaxed in the presence of these mighty hunters. Happily handling them. Intense, unblinking eye contact with Peregrines and Hawks. Face to face no more than a few inches between them. Complete confidence. Utter love.

Birds of Prey are truly majestic creatures who have another wonderful trait. They don’t harbour any misguided notions of prejudice.

72 thoughts on “Bird Of Prey

  1. I love it when that happens! I was in a super grumpy mood about going out to run and forced myself into it and saw a gorgeous buck with 8 points run across my path. It lifted my spirits for a week and every time I run past that spot I get a little extra juju from him. You got this BDad, you are doing a great job!!

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  2. Your son is wise … he instinctively realizes that most every critter is more trustworthy than most humans. I loved these pictures … I was looking for something to soothe my shattered nerves, and I found it here. But Gary … next time wear long pants … at least until April or so. 😉 (Needing that coffee now)

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      1. ‘Twould seem that common sense, compassion, and values are lacking on both sides of the pond. I keep telling myself that “this, too, shall pass”, but more and more I’m having a hard time convincing myself.

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  3. We have Red Tail Hawks around here. When I was still working, there was a pole I passed on my drive in, and if I saw a Hawk on the top of the pole, I told myself it would be a good day… that the hawk was my good luck.

    I still consider it lucky to see them. They’re magnificent!

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  4. Nice! My eagle made his appearance on my last walk too! Unfortunately, I don’t have great zoom capabilities on my camera, so he (she?) looks very tiny on the picture I took. Next week I’ll probably share a bit of my walk.

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  5. Those are such majestic creatures. I love them. We have a lot of them around here (wild ones) and often circling above me. It is awesome. And also stunning what an impact they have on your son.

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      1. Their population seemed to grow during the past 5 to 6 years. It is amazing to see several of them circling and sometimes the are flying so low that you can see every feather. As you said, breathtaking!

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  6. At a job so remote that it had “Beware of rattlesnakes” signs at the entries (really!! also lots of dead tarantulas in the building traps), I was once walking through the parking lot when, out of nowhere, a big hawk swooped down and seemed to wanting catch my hair! It changed routes at the last second. No sign of a next anywhere. That was roughly 18yrs ago and I remain confused, but pleased, by the experience!

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