Chinook Encounters: My Encounter with a Hawk

My Encounter with a Hawk

by Tia Gschwind

When I was at the Winter Gathering on Whidbey Island, I went out into the forest with Joanna (an adult) and two other kids, Mateo and Tobias, and we encountered a hawk. Here’s what happened:

We were walking down a path in the forest when I heard a rustling coming from behind a log. I looked over and a bird flew out from behind it and hit my face! Then it flew into a nearby tree. We took pictures and looked at it through binoculars, and later when we got back I looked up what type of bird it was, and it was definitely a hawk. I couldn’t find out what type of hawk. But all I know now is a hawk is my spirit animal. Because if you have an encounter with an animal that’s not a pet, like in your dreams or in real life, then that animal is your spirit animal.

We even named it. The name “Russet” popped into my head and the boys wanted to call it Seahawk because of the football team, but we decided on calling it “Russet Seahawk”.

It was an amazing experience and I feel really lucky to have had that encounter with the hawk.

And that is the story of the hawk that flew into my face!


Header and sidebar photos by Thomas Arthur Anderson; hawk photos by Joanna Wright and Tia Gschwind.

March 25, 2015

Nature Encounters


  1. Kay Nairn says:

    What a special experience, Tia, and at such a young age. Thanks for writing about it.