My husband and I were vacationing in Scottsdale, AZ last week. What a pleasant break from snowy, cold Montana! We stayed at a beautiful resort, The Phoenician. We were enjoying a delicious breakfast (scrambled eggs with sliced avocado for me – yum!) outside on the patio our first morning there. The sun and arid climate felt so fantastic on my skin.
We noticed a lady walking around the patio with a large falcon on her left arm. She would go to the perimeters of the dining area, using the falcon to scare away the smaller birds, so as not to disturb the meals of those of us enjoying breakfast. She used her right hand with a quick signal and uttered a short “cha”. It was really entertaining to watch. The smaller birds kept returning, and she and the falcon determinedly continued their surveillance and shooing.
We learned that the falcon’s name is Galaxy and she’s a female. The Phoenician has instituted what they call a nonlethal program for bird control. They have several falcons that they train to do the job. And they have feeding areas for the smaller birds on a rooftop that’s far-removed from the outdoor dining areas. So cool! I love the concept. Kudos to The Phoenician for a creative and natural solution to the outdoor dining/bird dilemma.
In comparison, my husband and I visited the Four Seasons on our honeymoon in Maui last spring. We were delighting in an afternoon cocktail at their poolside bar. The bartender set a bowl of nut mix in front of us. We had eaten about a third of the nuts when a friendly dove landed right on the bar, eyeing our nut dish. We were amused as he hopped closer to the snacks and helped himself!
We are animal lovers, and didn’t mind relinquishing the remainder of our snack to this little guy. But I have to wonder if some people might be put off at the prospect of a bird so close to and familiar with their food and drink. Either way is fine with me. The falcon bouncer was really impressive. And the natural audacity of the dove, I consider both entertaining and enterprising!
I applaud the humane efforts of both The Phoenician and Four Seasons. God created us to live in harmony and compatibility with his other creations, to find ways to coexist and to be respectful of nature and our environment. It’s inspiring to experience that respect from two large corporations! Both companies make the choice to be kind and supportive to native wildlife, and to search for benevolent practices to employ. This point really resonated with me, especially at a time in our history when so many corporations flippantly and selfishly adopt processes that adversely affect our earthly domain. The world needs more benevolent intentionality. Thank you to The Phoenician and the Four Seasons for that demonstration!