On March 28th, 2010, I was indeed blessed to receive an email from Renee Prince, author and filmmaker, who crossed to the other side on June 29, 2015, after a tough battle with cancer. She was a close friend of a wild Red Tailed Hawk. Her email made my heart sing when she wrote, “Yes, you can make friends with wild hawks,” a question I had asked in one of my posts–about me feeling I’ve been ‘communicating’ with neighborhood Red Tailed Hawks. Here is what she wrote to me. It is so awesome and I am honored to publish it here. Two other posts will follow.
“My own hawk, a wild Red Tail named Tennerin, migrates away from me here in Oregon every spring (always leaving near the first day of spring). I have been Tennerin’s friend for about 12 years now, and he spends all his winters with me. Hawks, you may not know, can live until their late twenties. I feed him bits of fresh beef but he also hunts. I started feeding him one day when I took a spoiled chicken away from him, thinking it might be poisoned. Until then we’d just had a passing acquaintance, but he was very upset that I had taken his food, so I apologized to him, looking him directly in the eyes (this doesn’t indicate dominance with hawks or other birds—unlike dogs or most other mammals, they seem to respond to it). I replaced it with a piece of cooked steak, explained that even though it was square and brown and very un-animal-like, it was food, even if it looked strange.
He seemed to listen to me and flew down to eat the steak almost immediately, as I watched. On that day, we began our relationship, which has changed me, opening me spiritually in ways I could never have imagined. He is very intelligent, recognizes my truck, follows me on hikes through the woods, and actually has begun to vocalize back to me when I talk to him.
Just a few days ago before he left, joined by four other hawks, he gave us a “hawk air show” all day, with courting behaviors in the sky with his mate. These hawks come by near the time he leaves, and I hope they travel together wherever they migrate to. It is very hard to say goodbye to him every year, but I am so happy for him to be in love with his mate (they mate for life) and living his mysterious other life, nesting, raising little Tennerins, being a wild hawk, yet still a long-time companion to me. I miss him, but he brought me such joy the day of his dancing in the air before his migration, that it is impossible to stay sad. So make eye contact with your hawk or hawks and talk to them as if they are fellow beings equal to you in intelligence with respect and sincerity. It worked with Tennerin, and I can say he has shown me so much love and beauty that I consider him a gift from the Great Spirit/Tao/All That Is.
I have a video on YouTube with Tennerin which you may enjoy. Good luck and keep writing. I do the same work as well, but blog on filmmaking and in articles and books. Somehow Tennerin does find his way even into my film blog, The Standby Painter, at times, but the comments I get reflect other people’s fascination with him as well. Writing is healing, enlightening and a good way to realize aspects of yourself that can be hidden unless the discipline of writing is used to recover them. Spiritual searches and writing go together synergistically, and new avenues will open.
Best of Luck!
PS-Like you I am in my 50’s, a woman, and I was very ill, pretty much incapable of working (and clinically depressed) when I first met Tennerin. It is not an exaggeration to say that Tennerin cured me.”
Other Posts by Renee Prince: Healing with a Wild Red-Tailed Hawk and