I haven’t seen the film. I just have no desire. It’s a shame because I’ve heard mixed things, but what’s worse is the lack of raves. Even my friends who have seen the film have said, “It’s not great. Not bad. But fun.” and that was it. Nothing else. Michael Vogel, and you won’t find a male with more prominent feminist stripes, gave it a decent review … and then the entire conversation (in our little movie group) ceased. It was gone. That’s the problem. You can judge as much by the silence as you can by the words being said. Even though they are fairly common in North America, the Red-Tail Hawk is my favorite. I see them a lot perched on light posts along the expressway or on fenceposts at the edge of fields. Just because a species is commonplace doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable or interesting.
I’m a little prejudiced, because we have a Red-Tail who is one of the birds in the raptor education program hosted at my farm. This is Howard, who is about 14 years old. He originally was from the Chicago area and was found in someone’s yard acting much too tame to be normal. He was a juvenile, less than a year old, and was evaluated as having some type of brain problem, either an impact injury or possibly a rare survivor of West Nile Virus, and was not releasable. He was at a wildlife rehab center, but they had all the Red-Tails they were licensed to have and he could only stay there a week, then he would have to be put down. He was a bit of a gamble for us to take, as he is fully flighted (our other birds have deficits that prevent them from flying). I’m not a veterinarian nor an ornithologist, but I always feel everybody deserves a chance and supported taking him. Howard has come a long way and his “slowness” has abated a great deal as he has grown older (I think a great part of his problem was confusion and depression). He’s very calm, good-natured, and easy to handle, adapted well to training, and is a great audience favorite when we take him to schools or public presentations. He will fly to the glove in his cage, although he can’t be trusted to free-fly (he’s not that tame), and he has an extra-large cage so he can get enough exercise. I think all raptors are fascinating, but Red-Tails are special.