Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sketching with an Eagle...

Sketching with a rescued eagle...

This magnificent bald eagle was injured in the tornado that destroyed his nest near Smithville March 6–his wing is broken.  He was brought to Pete Rucker, our vet for many years and a wildlife rehabilitator who has spent countless hours rescuing the wild things that have been injured or sick or orphaned.   

The bird appears to have made its way on foot 300 yards from where its nest had been, to the middle of the road, where it was seen by Good Samaritans who then called the Department of Conservation for aid.  Clay County Department of Conservation worker Brian Bartlett delivered him to Pete night before last, where he received excellent care, had X-rays, and had his wing bandaged to immobilize it pending possible surgery.

I happened to hear of all this through sheerest serendipity, and was allowed to spend a bit of time alone with the great bird.  The staff at the Excelsior Springs Animal Clinic kindly moved furniture so I could be close, and brought a chair so I’d be comfortable–bless them! 

Joseph asked if I wasn’t going to take my drum, and I am so glad I did.  I stood by the cage drumming as softly as a heartbeat, and it seemed to calm or relax him...his eyes gently closed as I drummed and he nearly went to sleep. There is nothing quite like being so close to the wild, and interacting quietly and almost intimately as the bird relaxed...I was healed as well. 

We sent up healing prayers together, and I made a small offering of tobacco and herbs–and sketched.

The green bandage keeps his fractured wing immobile.

wide awake...

beginning to drowse...

nearly asleep....

This morning the pair, man and bird, were on the way to Columbia in the snow to deliver the eagle to a raptor rehabilitation facility in hopes that it will eventually be able to be released back into the wild.  The news looks hopeful and the wing will likely be pinned to allow it to heal properly.  The staff there have named the eagle Dorothy...but as we don't actually know whether it is male or female, I still call him "Twister"...

What a gift.  I had never been closer than 15 feet to an eagle, another injured birds at Eagle Days–and never alone.  Powerful blessings.


For more on the eagle rescue, this link to an interview with Dr. Rucker will be good for a while...


  1. It is awesome to sit so close. Your sketches and words show how much it meant to you -- well done.

  2. So deeply spiritual..I didn't know of the drum, it might be magical too...well done!

  3. It was amazing...I am so sorry the eagle didn't make it, the trauma of the tornado, a broken wing, and not being found for 3 days was just too much.


We'd love to hear from you, your questions, comments, observations! Please feel free to comment, feedback is important to us.