Doc Hawk

DOC HAWK is Leon Powers’ identity to over a million Boy Scouts and 1.3 million readers of Boys’ Life magazine who see his periodically appearing outdoor adventure/nature stories. Here’s how the magazine’s editorial staff describes Doc Hawk’s writing:

“Welcome to the Continuing True Adventures of Doc Hawk, a mild-mannered biologist from Idaho who regularly finds himself – often along with his students – in face-to-face situations with wildlife. Where will Doc Hawk find adventure next?”

Leon finds these Doc Hawk stories an enjoyable outlet for recounting his many outdoor adventures during years of teaching and studying all manner of wildlife. Each true story introduces the reader to some fascinating wildlife form, instructing and entertaining in the process. Topics thus far have included such diverse subjects as great gray owls, hummingbirds, silver foxes, and desert lizards. Upcoming adventures will involve dragonflies, backyard robin antics, revelations of how a high mountain bird, Clark’s Nutcracker, assures grizzly bear survival, and a Zorro-like pocket gopher (a seldom-seen burrowing animal).

Click on Doc Hawk Stories to read some of his adventures.

Hummingbirds: A novel plan to restore a pruned-off branch bearing a hummingbird nest with babies – would it work? The answer and much more about these gem-like, tiny birds.

Desert LizardsHow does “magic dust” and “shake and bake” convert crafty desert lizards into neon-bright subjects of study? Join the adventure!

Ghostly Owls – Slip into the woods with Doc Hawk in search of North America’s largest and most elusive owl, the Great Gray. Join him in trapping one of these “gray ghosts of the woods.”

Silver FoxOn a remote mountaintop lookout Doc Hawk has a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with a rare, wildlife beauty – a silver fox.

How did this Boy’s Life Doc Hawk feature come about? Newly retired and growing increasingly disturbed by the huge disconnect between today’s youth and nature (the “nature-deficit syndrome”), Leon was seeking a means by which he might share with young people his own passion about nature and wildlife adventures.

Listening to Edward O. Wilson speaking in Boise, on April 14, 2004, he was struck by one of Wilson’s comments. Wilson was asked how today’s society could best inspire our youth to take up the cause of a healthy environment. After a brief reflection, he answered that we need more youth organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. His point was, scouting tradition regularly takes young people outdoors and teaches them an appreciation for nature and the environment. Sadly, today its one of the few widespread organizations that dares to do that. Reflecting on the importance of inspiring youth to reconnect with nature, Leon recalled how his own experience with Boy Scouts had helped to foster his lingering fascination with nature. He remembered too, how the scouting magazine, Boys’ Life, had been his absolute favorite magazine – eagerly awaiting its arrival each month.

With all this in mind, Leon wrote the Editor of Boys’ Life, crediting the influence of scouting and its magazine on his own career choice, and asked if he’d like to see samples of his true-life nature stories for the magazine. The Editor liked the nature accounts and invited Leon to assume a moniker and become a periodic contributor. “Doc Hawk” seemed the natural pen name, and Leon feels very fortunate for the opportunity to occasionally address such a vast audience of young people.

Doc Hawk, a life-long educator, can help your Council, Troop, and other group needs with topical programs on:

  • Nature study (Photos!?) * Doc Hawk Stories
  • Wildlife Identification * Books (wildlife adventures)
  • Merit Badge Requirements * Ecology & Environmental study
  • Outdoor/ Wildlife Adventure * Field Biology Adventures

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