At some point, we find ourselves in an unbreakable routine. During our waking hours, we eat, socialize and have moments of fresh air to observe our surroundings. Time passes and suddenly we’re old.
For Charlie, Thursday, March 1st was the same routine as usual, but it was his 31st birthday party. He was surrounded by loved ones singing happy birthday, eating cake and playing games celebrating the joyous occasion.
Charlie wouldn’t understand the festivities happening around him because he’s a wild animal, a red-tail hawk eying the room in a way one does to understand their surroundings and survive.
He’s the oldest living red-tail hawk in the entire world as defined in the longevity records by falconers. His home is Washington State University with the Raptor Club. Calculations have estimated his age to equal about 234 human years.
The normal life span for hawks is about 10 years. For those in captivity, about 20 years. He’s surpassed both statistics.
The birthday party’s attendees consisted of club members, volunteers and other raptor acquaintances: an owl, a falcon and Charlie. Program coordinator Sarah Monzel says the birds are not very social.