I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love it for how I can keep up with friends and family. I love it for being able to see pictures and videos. I hate it for how much time I find myself spending on it. Because I've committed myself to changing my life in several significant ways, I decided less time on Facebook and less time online all the way around had to happen. One day I'll be able to stay on track. The next, I'm a train that's a catastrophic derailment. Then there are the days, like this morning, when I get on Facebook and find a comment in response to a post, a comment that helps me in several ways, and I'm head over heels in love again.
Such was the case this morning. Yesterday, I posted how I'd come across an injured hawk and found myself unable to help it. While I wished I could make sure it was in a safe place, getting the help it needed, I just didn't know where to turn. This morning, I checked in at Facebook and found a comment from JRA of One Speed: Go. He listed a link to people around the area who were licensed to take in wildlife and rehabilitate them. I found the number for a woman who lives close, so I called her. Though she only rehabs an animal after it has received veterinary care, she advised me on how to capture the hawk then where to take it. After talking with her, I gathered the necessary equipment--our old dog crate, a broom, and some leather gloves--and set off with the hope that the hawk was where I'd left it. I knew this might not be the case, as nearly 15 hours had passed since I'd come upon it.
When I came up over the rise and looked for the red post marking the spot, finding it with no problem, the hawk was nowhere to be seen. I pulled the truck into a drive leading to a turbine and parked. For the next half hour, I walked both sides of the road, scanned the bare fields stretching away from the grassy shoulder, and even walked the rows of a still-standing cornfield to look for the bird. Nothing. Thankfully, I never found traces of a fight either, no feathers, no blood, no tracks in the muddy fields. My hope is that either someone who knew exactly what to do when he came across the hawk did exactly that, or the hawk's feathers righted themselves enough after its resting yesterday that it was able to fly away.
While I couldn't help this time, Facebook, for all its drawbacks, put me in the position to help next time. I now have a website with valuable names and numbers bookmarked. I now have three immediate options for where to take an injured wild animal. I have the equipment to capture and transport an injured animal at the ready if needed. Though I feel sad for the hawk (but I'm going with the hope that it is flying high above the Illinois prairie right now), I also feel empowered all because of Facebook.