To become a Thrush, a Fledgling must secure sponsorship by one of the Lodge’s seven Hawks. However, a Hawk can only sponsor one Thrush at a time, and a Thrush is only promoted to Hawk upon the death or retirement of his or her Hawk, to replace him or her. On accepting a Fledgling as a Thrush, the Hawk accompanies him or her before the Sunhawk and formally requests the Thrush’s membership, declaring himself or herself to be the Thrush’s sponsor. Once the sponsorship is according to to the Bylaws of the Lodge, the Sunhawk is obligated to grant the request and assign the Thrush to the Hawk. The governing policy of the Hawk/Thrush relationship is that the Hawk never abandons the Thrush during a hunt, and reciprocally the Thrush is expected to accompany the Hawk on a hunt. However some Hawks such as Ahsis, motivated by their own egos, frequently ignored this policy because they did not want to share the glory of a successful hunt with anyone else. Others, like Tarkas, embarked on hunts without their Thrush due to the urgency of the hunt, such as upon a reported sighting of a prized machine that the other Hawks were after.
The most well-known Thrush in the Lodge’s history is the Nora huntress Aloy. She was sponsored by Hawk Talanah Khane Padish, one of the Lodge’s first female members. Ahsis was the Sunhawk. Motivated by sexism and bigotry toward the Nora, he wanted to refuse her membership, but knew that he could not, and thus very grudgingly granted it. Aloy and Talanah together killed the Thunderjaw known as Redmaw, allowing Talanah to supplant Ahsis as Sunhawk and end the sexism and bigotry toward non-Carja that were staples of Ahsis’ tenure.