Soddy (2 of 4)

This young Red-tailed hawk fell out of its nest and ended up with a broken wing. Ironside bird rescue was contacted and the wing was repaired. I got the privilege of working with this little one once he healed.
We worked on conditioning the flight muscles and being sure that he was strong and skilled enough to hunt on his own once released. Taking this extra step helps to ensure this birds chances of survival once he is returned to his home in the wild. It did not take long before “Soddy” was flying well and chasing bunnies. For a while, he was pretty unsure of himself and his abilities to complete the task at hand. This picture was taken on a bright beautiful morning. The morning that I knew Soddy was fully capable of hunting for and feeding himself… Below his outstretched wings and tail feathers, buried in the fresh fallen snow, he holds in his talons “his” first meal and my hope for his future.


Hawk Bells

The unmistakable tone of the falconer’s hawk bells is a sound that gets into your soul, and even after years with out hearing it, no matter where you are, that unique tone can invoke a flood of memories that take you back in time.
The smell of sage and the feel of the wind on your skin, the sound of wings slicing through air, the excitement of the chase and the quickening of the blood.
The joy in a moment!


Red-Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

These powerful raptors are virtual killing machines built for speed, endurance and aerial displays that easily put any of man’s flight technology to shame. The raptor’s ability to seemingly drop out of the heavens at breakneck speed, and recover itself only feet from the ground, while simultaneously striking and killing its prey is truly a feat man has yet to duplicate.

The red-tailed hawk is a hardy predator, although its body is built of a framework of thin hollow bones and the body is covered with soft feathers. This super predator can slam into a running rabbit at speeds exceeding fifty miles an hour and slice through brush with the efficiency of an arrow. Certainly, this majestic bird is a testament to nature’s diversity and magnificence.

So next time you hear the cry of a hawk on the wind, take a moment to look up and study the flight of this bird of prey and be glad they don’t hunt us.
Mike “Hawk” Huston


Red-Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

“Beaker” was found injured and lost a portion of the top part of her beak. She was transported to Ironside Bird Rescue and the very capable hands of Susan, who treated her and nursed her back to health. Due to her age at the time of the injury, I worked with Beaker throughout the winter and early spring to rebuild the strength needed to survive once again in the wild. When she was flying well and her hunting abilities we up to par, Beaker was released… I hope that she does not suffer the same fate as before and is happily soaring the thermals somewhere over the open prairies.



Before I take on any of these birds, I make an unspoken commitment to work with them each day that the Mother Nature will allow.
By our second year together, Absaroka (Abby girl)
had the routine figured out,
and came to expect more of me than I could sometimes provide.
Abby took my family on many unforgettable adventures;
her prowess as a hunter was unmatched,
often toying with her prey to extend the hunt a bit longer before making the kill. Witnessing nature in its rawest form is something that should humble and keep you grounded.
Working with these fantastic birds is an experience that I will never take for granted and if it were all to end tomorrow,
I will be thankful for the time that these magnificent animals have allowed me to spend with them.



Dinner Time..

This Redtail hawk was mantling over her dinner
as a golden eagle flew by overhead.
I guess you can never overcome true animal instincts,
nor would I want to.
I know that this is not the optimum pose for a falconry bird,
but it sure did make a beautiful photograph.


"Skeeter" the bug

My beautiful little "Skeeter".
I named him for the way that he would buz around my head
while out hunting.
Skeeter's favorite food was grasshoppers,
he became an expert hunter of many small things in the summer that we spent together.
Late that fall I released Skeeter.
He hung around for a couple weeks before he ventured off on his own..
about two weeks later he came back for one night
(to say goodbye??)
... Each time I come across a kestrel,
I often wonder if it could be my little friend stopping by to say hello..


Daily Exercises

My husband Mike, captured this photograph last winter
while we were out flying together.
This is only one memory that I will forever cherish.
Each and every day I am thankful,
I am thankful for where I live,
and to the Creator for the beauty that surrounds us.
I am thankful for my family,
my wonderful husband who never complains,
but stays patient and supportive of my dreams.
Our two boys that are growing to be wonderful young men.
I am thankful that they have been able to share in our hobbies and passions.
I cannot imagine that any of this would hold as much joy
without them there at our sides to share in each experience….
Thank You!!


Wind Beneath My Wings

It is such a beautiful and awe inspiring feeling each and every time I get to go fly with one of these fantastic birds. It touches me in a way that I am still unable to describe,
so at this time, I will just allow the pictures to do the speaking for me …


Red Tailed Hawk ~ "Abby Girl"
Abby was a magnificent bird. I flew with her for 2+ years and before we moved, I made the decision to release her in the area that we used to hunt.
The next Fall we spotted her again, healthy as ever. She was no dummy, she knew where food could be found!


My first falconry bird. A red tailed hawk, "Kiva".