Febirdary #2 Last

The last wild bird I held in my hands at the time: a male Northern goshawk. All day he hung around the chicken and quail coops, being far too slow to leave and much too trusting whenever I shooed him off. On more than one occasion I could approach him to less than a metre in broad daylight. Which, for a wild bird – especially one as panicky as a gos – usually spells out Bad News.

And indeed; though he perched okay, in flight one of his feet trailed low. Probably some injury which prevented him hunting properly. As day turned to night he ended up sat on the ground, looking at our quail like he was watching tele. Finally, under the veil of near complete darkness I was able to put a net over him and then grab him. It’s quite something else, holding a wild raptor. Their eyes are intense! And they know exactly where yours are: they stare unabashedly terrified into them, never breaking eye contact.

I put him in a box and called the ‘animal ambulance’ which would bring him to the nearest wildlife rescue. I hope he made a full recovery in rehab!

– Coloured pencil on brown toned paper, 14,8 x 21 cm