Saturday, August 25, 2012
Today's Bird Encounter: Juvenile Cooper's Hawk
Today's relaxing Saturday was interrupted by a call from the landowner where WRC has much of its outdoor caging.
An injured hawk. Could anyone come get it? He'd put it in one of our large crow flight cages.
So I drove over to transport the bird to the UMN's Raptor Center (TRC). (WRC treats everything but raptors)
Turns out the bird was a juvenile Cooper's Hawk (note the white patches on its back and head) and it wasn't injured. Highly stressed and tired, but otherwise fine. I took it out of the flight cage to an open field and watched it fly to a fence line about 3' away (shown above) and then run along it. I approached it again to make sure it could truly flew well and it flew strongly to a tree 50 yards away.
We suspect that it was trying to hunt the songbirds in the outdoor flight cages and had simply exhausted itself trying to get to them. Giving it cage rest in WRC's crow cage was the perfect thing to do. If it wouldn't have flown when I was there I probably would've needlessly transported it up to TRC.
What a treat to handle and see one of these gorgeous birds. And better yet: for it to be healthy and releasable.