A few weeks ago Colburn and I made our yearly visit to the hawks at the Texas Hawking Association’s 2011 Field Meet here in Abilene. Here are a few of Colburn’s photos and some excerpts from one of my favorite books about animal totems. There is more information about the book at the end of this post.
Hawks are one of the most intriguing and mystical birds of prey.
All hawks are impressive and stir the imagination. Their hunting ability, their eyesight, and their powerful flights and other behaviors are dynamic symbols for those who believe in animal totems or spirits.
The species that is the most numerous of the hawk family is the red-tailed. It is named for the distinctive coloring on its tail feathers. Only the mature red-tails have this coloring. The immature also have lighter colored eyes, distinguishing them from their more mature relatives.
The beak and talons are always commented upon by observers. They are the most striking features of any hawk. It is a fearless bird that will even take on poisonous snakes. It has a scaled leg to help protect it against poisonous bites, and immediately upon grasping its snake prey, it tears off the head.
The feathering of the red-tail has two phases. Both of these are significant to anyone with this totem. Its feathering is a little lighter during the summer and darker during the winter. The lighter is often symbolic of more joyful and social kinds of energies. The darker phases can reflect a time to be alone or to withdraw a little. The red-tail and its color phases also help us to guard against blazing so brightly and intensely that we get burnt out.
The sky is the realm of the hawk. Through its flight it communicates with humans and with the great creator spirit. It awakens our vision and inspires us to a creative life purpose.
All photos are by my adorable new husband, Colburn Dick.
Lost Marbles Jewelry has a few bracelets created to honor these magnificent birds. You can see them here.
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