Last weekend, I visited some folks I know in Delaware County. Their son is 7 or 8 and couldn’t wait to show me something.
“I have a hawk,” he said excitedly.
I informed his mother that it was illegal to have a hawk. In fact, it’s a federal offense. Within a few minutes they told me the entire story.
The boy has a little black-and-white pony that he rides quite often. The other day his mother told him to pull out the hose and fill the pony’s water tank. When he got to the trough he saw a bird floating in the tank. The bird was still alive but unable to get out of the water, so the boy picked him up. He noticed the remains of a dragon fly in its small beak.
Quickly, he carried the nearly drowned creature to the house to show his mother. By the time he got there the little feathered creature started to recover but barely moved in the little boy’s hands. With a towel from near the kitchen sink he carefully dried the little bird the best he could.
The boy nor his mother knew if the young hawk would live, but they decided to try to save it. There was an empty rabbit cage in the shed so the young raptor was put inside it on some hay while the boy finished filling the pony’s watering trough.
When the boy returned to the cage several minutes later the bird was sitting up. He watched him for several minutes before going back into the house. Later that day he fed it a couple worms and stuck a small branch through the cage so his little friend had a perch.
The next morning the young hawk was very alert and sitting on the branch. Johnny and his mother found a mouse in the horse barn and put it in the cage. The hawk left his perch and ate the small rodent.