next day there was a tremendous thunder-storm, we showered, half
clothed, and washed our hair in it, it was great. After the storm
clouds had passed we were watching the clouds for patterns and at
one point noticed the same thing. I thought it was an eagle in flight,
my ex thought it was an owl. We watched it until it had made it's
way out of the area.
the Sundance we decided to go over to South Dakota to see where
'Dances with Wolves' was filmed, so we headed for Pierre, but we
were pulled over for speeding. They made us take out all of our
belongings, even my Pipe, which is a Sacred item. Because we had
newly picked sage drying on the dash, they said it was cannabis,
so we must have had more drugs in the car. Now those who know what
sage looks like also know it looks nothing like pot. Those who know
us also know we have never touched anything stronger than tobacco
in a Pipe. Well anyway, I digress, because of the treatment we received
there I no longer wanted to stay in that red-necked area, so we
headed north to Bismarck, North Dakota. Along the road I saw what
I thought was an eagle, sitting on a bale of hay by the side of
the road. We stopped. My ex thought it was an owl. I went over to
it and it jumped off to the back of the bale, yes it jumped off!
I followed taking pictures all the while, waiting for it to take
flight...hadn't I learned by this time! I realized that there
was something completely wrong with this bird so kept edging towards
it, until I was sitting next to it talking to it. It looked like
it had an injured wing, which is why I thought it hadn't flown away.
I told it that it needed help and if it would allow me I would take
it to get that help. It didn't say 'No way' so I picked it up in
a towel that Andrew had bought over to me, and off we went. Now
at this time I felt I was dreaming, here I was sitting on the front
seat of the car with a bird of prey on my lap, and it was so contented
that it fell asleep as we were travelling. No kidding!
arrived at our friend's house in Bismarck, he is by the way my adopted
Dakota brother, and he is a Sundancer. We hoped that he would know
of someplace to take 'Birdie' but he didn't. We spent the next two
nights in a room with this bird, I awoke one time and there he was
just watching me. After staying for a couple of days we set off
back to Jersey, with Birdie firmly placed between us on the front
seat again, enjoying the view! By this time we realized that this
was no ordinary wild bird, he was tame.
in New Jersey, we looked into where we could take our friend, and
were directed to the Raptor Center in north Jersey. We took him
there, where we were told that he was the sorriest looking bird
that they had seen in their 30 years of dealing with raptors. Other
than being malnourished, and having feather mites, and hardly any
tail feathers, they said he was fine, and they would care for him.
He was around 18 months old, and of course tame. We felt better
at that point because they will try to rehabilitate him to be wild,
and if they can't do that they will use him in their education program.
that the end of the story you may ask? well not quite, I forgot
to tell you that in North Dakota, my ex's vision came true, Birdie
landed on his arm, because that was the only place he would eat
food from, and in case you hadn't guessed our friend was a Red Tailed
is one of the photos I took of Birdie as I approached him, I was
pretty close at this point. You can see one red tail feather showing,
that's about all he had. as you can also see he was a sorry looking
friend. Read on for the final chapter of Birdie.
Written by Gloria Hazell 1992©