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Hubert the hawk, then ‘Waltzing Matilda’.

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King parrots

Rainbow lorikeets


When I look out the window into the garden and see all the wild birds feeding, it occurs to me that all the humans who spend most of their daily lives worrying about the performance of the FTSE and Dow Jones Indices are missing out on something vastly more important in life.

When Hubert the hawk, circling at 500 feet, looks down into my garden and sees all the wild birds feeding, it occurs to him that here is a banquet, a smorgasbord, fit for a bird of his dominance and distinction, and whilst dive-bombing at 100 kilometres per hour towards them he thinks to himself  “Hubert baby, this is going to be my lukky day.”

Yesterday, unfortunately for Hubert, he made two slight errors of judgment.  (Plus one of spelling.)

Firstly,the birds saw him coming and took evasive action.

Secondly, Hubert, (having failed miserably in his physics exams at the Avian Academy)  in pulling out of his dive failed to understand that the reflection of clear sky in a glass window was fraught with impediments to high-velocity flight.

Something had to give way.

It was not the window.

Hubert was not a well hawk for at least an hour, but after Dr GOF pulled Hubert’s head back out from way down somewhere near his  gizzard, then gave him two panadeines, a healing blessing, a pat on the head and a sip of altar wine from his apostolic goblet, Hubert wobbled his way back up into a nearby tree to contemplate what might have caused things to go so pear-shaped on what was going to be his ‘lukky day’.

Semi-comatose Hubert

healed Hubert giving thanks

(all photographs by Mrs GOF)

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Plus there’s more;

Today I am handing out gifts.

One gift to Gominoklahoma  and another one just for you.

GOM has now been a blog friend of mine for almost 4 years. There is no finer Drabble (story told in precisely 100 words) composer or witty commenter in my blog world. It is time for me to reward him with a special cultural gift of song from Australia, and one for you too in recognition of the time you waste  spend keeping me company in The Bucket.

Waltzing Matilda’ is Australia’s unofficial National Anthem.

‘Banjo Patterson’ (1864-1941), the principal folk poet of Australia  composed the lyrics in 1895 at Dagworth Station near Winton in Queensland’s outback.
Patterson’s image appears on our $10 polymer bank note.

The first of the following gifts is for GOM who has suffered with great dignity and tolerance through so many of my references to this ‘singer’ over the years.

The second is for you.  (Please share it with GOM too because he deserves better than what I just gave him.)  Noel Watson has been called a  “Genuine Aussie bloke with a voice that’ll pin your ears back.”
Plucked from obscurity, he rendered this extraordinary live performance  sung from his heart at the Aussie Rules Football Grand Final in 1988, and it still gives me goosebumps 24 years later.

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

35 responses »

  1. Gosh! Hubert’s really cute! I love hawks but ours are quite a teche larger…Not many– Hillbillies even–can claim they kicked a hawk off a chicken but you know. I’m a woman of many arts.

    • It’s the first hawk we’ve seen up close here MT…a really beautiful bird and I was surprised that he didn’t try to take a chunk out of my fingers after he woke up.
      I’m sure the chickens regard you as their Saviour Goddess.

      • As I was likely to steal they’re unborn babies daily and was known to lop off a head or 5 every few months, prolly not a Savior! Like all Gods, I had my whims 🙂

  2. Your a lucky man to have those birds in your garden, we just have the usual boring ones 🙂

  3. Love all the bird photos especially the thick billed finches. I hope Hubert is okay and it’s a miracle you didn’t get your skin taken off by those talons. Window hits are nasty; glad you rescued him.

    Nice football song!!

    • Thanks Amelie….it’s a miracle the window didn’t break…it made such a noise when it hit…..Hubert just seemed to appreciate being rescued which is more than the parrots do…they can’t wait to take a nip at your fingers.

  4. Thanks, GOF. Has it really been 4 years?

    I thought Elle was no longer in your good graces?

    As for Hubert, I’m glad he survived. Also glad to see that your fingers and eyes survived.

    • I’ve been blogging for 4 years and you were one of my early ‘discoveries’. 🙂
      There’s always a little place within me for Elle…..if I watch ‘Sirens’ again sometime then I’ll probably remember why I was interested in her in the first place.

      Hubert was a good news story….many doves fly into the window at much slower speeds and they die instantaneously.

  5. GOF: Great Ornithological Friend

  6. Wow GOF!!! I don’t know where to begin! Great photos of very brightly colorful parrots, lorikeets and finches, great story and photos about saving crashing hawk Hubert, and… well… uhm, that 1st version of “Waltzing Matilda” by Ms. Macpherson, made me feel a certain way, and experience a “reaction” that I would have bet my house that “hearing” (watching is more accurate) that particular song, could never make me feel or react in that particular way! LOL

    Noel Watson’s version was cool too, but in a completely polar opposite kind of way! LOL 😀

    • Thanks Chris….I thought you might have enjoyed both versions of the song for different reasons. It was wonderful that they found this completely unknown bush singer to perform the unofficial National Anthem at the Grand Final in 1988.
      Last year they paid International has-been star Meatloaf an enormous amount of money to sing at the event and his performance was a musical disgrace. You and I could have sung more in tune.

      • Ugh… I can all too well envision just how bad Meatloaf’s disgraceful performance must have been. May he continue to head on further down south, and do his next show on the Ross Ice Shelf, except that might constitute cruelty to the penguins…

        But at least you’ve got that great rendition by the unknown bush singer from 1988 for a recall of inspiring memories.

        Speaking of ‘inspiring” I noticed in one of your other replies, that you mentioned Ms. Macpherson was in the movie “Sirens”. I also saw it, but forgot that she was in it, but now, oh how I remember! No small wonder that she had the effect on me that she did earlier… since often the subconscious never forgets what the conscious mind doesn’t remember… Lol 😉

        • Too much of my life (and this blog) has been concerned with Elle MacPherson…..I continue to mention her because it annoys a few friends who think that a grown man like me should be ‘over it’ by now.

          For a feast of my Elle bloggery including pictures just click the ‘elle’ tag amongst the tag-cloud in the sidebar of this page.

          • Hey, this was a while back, but I used to have a celebrity crush on Nicole Kidman, and I wrote several short stories online about her, each with a very different plot, but all with the common ending that I eventually saved Nicole from her heartbreak and troubles, and then she became mine.

            So GOF, I think that I can relate to what you’re telling me… Lol

            And grown men like us should never get over it; at least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it, and I’m not ashamed to say it!

            And GOF, my friend… thanks for showing me where to find the key here, to Elle’s charms. I am already most grateful in advance. 🙂

  7. Nice photos. I’m glad the hawk survived. It’s funny how sometimes injured animals will just sit back and let us help them. I wonder if it’s a shock thing and they have just given up all hope of being able to get away.

    • Thanks Mike…..and you’re right….when I looked at his talons and beak I know he could have inflicted some damage to my fingers.
      Cat also changed it’s nonchalant towards me a few months ago after I took it to the vet who saved it’s life…..for a few weeks it was always grovelling at my feet in appreciation. Things have returned to normal now. Such is life. 🙂

  8. If I looked out the window and saw birds like yours surrounding the feeder, I’d think a pet supply truck had turned over on the freeway and let loose all of its merchandise. That, or someone had slipped a little hallucinogenic mushroom in my omelet!

    But what beautiful parrots, lorikeets, and finches! And kudos to Mrs. GOF for taking the photos. I’m surprised you picked up the hawk with your bare hands—I would have grabbed a pair of leather gloves first—but he looks cross-eyed in that first picture of him anyway. He probably couldn’t even see who was picking him up in those first five minutes!

    • Thanks HG….and we almost need a pet-supply truck to keep up the seed supply to all our birds, but the rewards we get from having them around all year far outweigh the cost of feeding them.

      I’m sure poor Hubert didn’t know what hit him so he was rendered harmless….I certainly wouldn’t have picked up an injured parrot without leather gloves.

      Please send omelet recipe. 🙂

  9. Holy cow. So much packed into so little space.

    I’m a bird lover, too. So I thoroughly enjoyed Hubert’s story, as well as the pictures. Terrific. We have finches at our feeders, too — gold finches, and I love watching them change. But the pictures of Hubert are amazing. I’m so glad you got him righted.

    And your national anthem is awesome. I preferred the second version. But then, I’m a girl.

    • Thank you Elyse. We are so fortunate to have so many species of birds resident in our garden. (last count around 50) but this is the first time we’ve been able to photograph a hawk.

      The second version of Waltzing Matilda is the best I’ve ever heard in my life.
      The first one is crap. She would have been better advised to keep her mouth shut, but then I guess the clip was not made primarily for the purpose of musical excellence. 🙂

  10. I hope Hubert has left a few drips for my visit next week!!

  11. Gifts? One is waiting…

  12. Hubert almost changes my opinion on bird photos. What big eyes you have!

    I had a chuckle at one of the youtube comments, claiming Elle’s likely to get bitten by a king brown if she keeps rolling around in the grass like that. Not to mention the ticks.

    • Hubert’s eyes were even more astonishing in real life…..the vivid colour and clarity….no wonder they have such amazing eyesight.

      I had a smile at some of the comments too.

  13. Poor Hubert! I’m glad he’s okay.

  14. Wow! I would be in heaven to have birds like that in my yard! And what a beautiful hawk!
    I would just be sitting staring out the window for the rest of my life. Oh, wait, that’s why I do now.

    • It was really heaven-for-birds around here after the last Cyclone……because there was no food left for them to eat in the rainforest they all gathered at GOF’s Bird Restaurant for a feed….many species that we’d never seen before.

  15. Lovely birds and great photos. It seems to be an abundance of avian riches up your way. And isn’t it amazing what panadienes can do? How did you get Hubert to take them and still have fingers?

    • We are really blessed with the number and variety of wild birds here.
      Hubert was on another planet for at least an hour…didn’t know what hit ‘im.


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