I attended an “Earth Day” event on Saturday and learned the story of this beautiful, immature Red Tailed Hawk. She had been held by Falconers for almost one year. I photographed these images of her just moments before she gained her freedom, and I watched her soar over the water, unchained. I followed her from a distance, and was lucky enough to find her sitting on a low tree log immediately after her release. (Amazing because she had been sitting all day, chained on one leg, on a similar stand low to the ground at the Falconer’s booth). She stayed in this position for about 10 minutes getting her bearings; perhaps realizing she was truly free, listening to the birds chirping around her. I watched her as she eventually flew up to a higher branch, and then again deeper into the woods, experiencing her precious freedom. I pray that she survives and thrives. It was amazing to watch these moments, and touched my heart. (Photos are copyright protected).