Perhaps one of the most unexpected guests to enter into the Recital Hall made her debut last Friday morning; Mary, the hawk. From the moment that she arrived, perched on the arm of Mr. Walters, the Recital Hall was flooded with fierce whispers of “Shhhh!” and a following awed silence.
Mary came to us through Mr. Walters, English teacher, who served his falconry apprenticeship in Ireland and has been working with birds of prey for several years. Mr. Walters, who had been looking to catch his own hawk out of the wild, was given this hawk by an acquaintance who had held her in captivity since she was very young. Mr. Walters’ goal is to train Mary to hunt and fly on her own before releasing her back into the wild.
In the meantime, Mary has a new home located behind the Art Studio, complete with a sign reading “Mary’s Mews.” Several students and faculty have visited her, met her, and even gone on hunting walks with her.
Riley Jacobs ’13 describes meeting Mary for the first time: “We were leaving the snowman competition last week when Mr. Walters invited us into the Observatory. When we entered the building, we noticed there was a hawk sitting on the table! He used a toothbrush to scrub its feet and he had just trimmed its beak. He had us hold her so that he could tie the leather bindings to her feet. He also fed her a quail; she’s a messy eater.”
Charley Neisner ’14 says: “I saw her with my own two eyes. She looked at me, and it was scary, she looked mad at the world. Probably because she just got her talons clipped.”
Sydney de Tomaso ’13 added: “I got to hold her with the glove on, and she just stared at me. You feel this heavy weight on your arm. Birds of prey are so much cooler than regular birds; they hold themselves with a lot of pride.”