The Dea Enigma

Dea is a Red-tailed Hawk ambassador for our Raptor Education Program. One of her handlers, an REP volunteer named Erin, wrote a poem about Dea. We’d like to share it with you!

Enigma, by definition, means “a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.” A paradox. A riddle. A mystery. 

Dea Tuesday

The Dea Enigma

5 years and childhood dreams.

I’m finally here, officially a trainee.

“I love you,” I tell her.

She bites me.


It’s not what I expected,

But I’d have it no other way.

This bird is in my life,

And she’s here to stay.


It’s a rotation of faces,

A thousand questions too –

The visitors all change,

But Dea is true.


Her presence may be steady

But her matter is not.

She’s as moody as the wind blows,

And as fussy as I am besot.


“Station,” I cue.

I’ve lost her attention.

“Station?” I plead.

She’s abandoned her ascension.


And so it’s quail and rat,

A cycle of training.

She gets her enrichment,

And I continue begging.


She’s a good bird,

She’s the best!

Handlers have their favorites,

And our scars can attest.


Some enjoy vultures

And some prefer others.

But when I hit the mews

It’s a red tail I garner.


When working with birds

Lay down all stigma.

For when you’re handling Dea,

You’re handling an enigma.

-Erin Sackett received_2003548976345018


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