Red (Shouldered) Hawk Down

As our team continues to grow both in number and experience, we are going to start sharing more of the first hand stories from our rescuers’ perspectives. One of our newer team members, Nat, was able to respond recently to a reported red-shouldered hawk who had been grounded. Here is her accounts of this case!

Rescue 9/21/16:

A call came in that a hawk was down near me so I headed out to check on the poor critter. The bird was suspected to have been possibly poisoned or electrocuted. When I arrived at the location I approached the bird to assess its condition. Each time I did it bravely popped his head up to let me know he was aware of my presence but soon after however he would tuck it back under his wing. I took some photos for documentation before going any further.

In this particular case, being that I am sort of new, I was awaiting an experienced rescuer with the proper gear to capture an adult hawk. While I was waiting the gentleman who called Owl’s Nest came up and we discussed what had happened. He cleared up any suspicion of poisoning/electrocution by reporting that earlier that morning he witnessed a fight between two hawks which started in the air first and then went to the ground, where this bird had remained since.

When the other rescuer showed up she deftly assessed the situation and then proceeded to net the hawk swiftly but gently. Once she had it contained safely in a crate, she transported to Kris for assessment and rehabilitation.


Red Shouldered Hawk on Rescue Day

Release 9/25/16:

We got the call that this hawk was ready to release a mere four days later. YAY! Having had (thankfully) only minor injuries that were tended to along with some rest to heal, the vet gave word that it was ready to go! We headed back to the site of rescue to release this gorgeous hawk, now much sassier than when we’d first met.

We set the crate out in the grass where we found the bird originally. At first we watched while it decided what it was going to do…seemingly that was to sit back and watch US…lol. After a bit we approached the open crate to wiggle it just a bit to coax the bird out and the bird blasted out of the crate and up to a tree – gracing me with only shots of its backside for while it went. Ugh.  So much for my camera! lol

At this point however, the real reason we rescue unfolded in front of my eyes (and camera). The hawk, now perched in a tree, started calling out. As we stood there, we started to hear the calls of another bird back. Then the other bird’s calls got closer and closer until it approached the hawk we had just released and they flew off together. We waited a while to see if they came back into view and though they didn’t we continued to hear them calling a bit before we left.


Red Shouldered Hawk after release back in its home area


If you find any sick, injured, or suspected orphaned wildlife we would like to remind you to give us or another permitted rehabilitator a call. We also ask that you consider making a donation to Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife so that we may continue our work to conserve and protect wildlife in the Tampa Bay Area.

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And make sure to follow our blog to stay up to date on our cases! You can also now follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and now Periscope (@OwlsNestRehab)! And subscribe to our new YouTube Channel.

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