In this moving true story, zoologist Hagedorn relates the story of her unusual encounter with a wild red-tailed hawk.
Shot down but not killed, the injured raptor is brought to the wildlife center where the white author works. Thus begins a long relationship between an exceptionally patient and caring scientist and a wounded animal. Through dramatic full-page color photographs and straightforward narration, Hagedorn describes how she enabled the hawk, named Sunshine for her happy disposition, to live a life in captivity as naturally as possible. In a large, purpose-built aviary, bird and scientist together construct a nest in which the bird lays two eggs. Although the unfertilized eggs will never hatch, the mother bird faithfully incubates them. This process continues for several years, when Hagedorn tries the experiment of substituting two fertilized chicken’s eggs for Sunshine’s own eggs. With great excitement, hawk and woman watch the chickens hatch. The bird’s maternal instinct wins over her predatory nature, and she feeds and raises the two roosters as if they were her own offspring. Hagedorn concludes by reminding readers that “we can all overcome challenges and adjust to new situations with the help of others!”
A well-told personal story with a positive environmental message. (author’s note, glossary) (Informational picture book. 6-10)