On the third day the little boy stuck his hand into the cage and the young hawk actually climbed up on his finger as he handed him a piece of raw meat.
Little Johnny was so proud that he had saved the young raptor’s life and told me that he was going to release him back to the wild. A few minutes later the hawk rode on the little boy’s hand back to the watering trough area. With an upward motion he urged the young hawk to fly, and that he did. On steady wings the small hawk rose into the sky to live in the wild as nature intended.
Finding the dragon fly in the hawk’s mouth the first day made them think that when the small hawk tried to catch the large insect it crashed into the water and maybe even hit the side of the tank, stunning it. But by then it was too weak to get out of the water and would have died if Johnny hadn’t been there to fill the tank that morning.
I know the little lad was sad when he released the hawk. He would have like to keep it as a pet, but he also knew that wild things should not be caged. As the hawk flew off across the pasture Johnny had a big smile knowing that he had done something wonderful and right.
On July 27, the Balsam Lake Mountain Volunteer Crew will host a Children’s Day at the summit. We will have a special visit from Smokey the Bear who will stop by (unless he is called away on an emergency). Smokey the Bear items will be available for all young visitors. We will have several children oriented activities such as scavenger hunts, tree ring counting, wildlife matching, animal tracking, forest fire spotting, bark rubbings or leaf rubbings, bird song ID’s, Leave No Trace puzzles, and target practice with Indian Tanks!