Friday, March 02, 2007

A Wild Kingdom Moment

Going into the kitchen to get the last of the morning coffee, I saw a young woman carrying one of those big yellow recycling bins standing outside the house. Now, we live in what's kindly known as a "post-transitional" neighborhood, and I have to say that it's transitioned quite nicely, thank you, but this was a little out of the ordinary even for us. Not that she looked demented or anything, but when someone's hanging around outside your house for 15 minutes, you start to wonder.

My solution? I got Rosey, my vicious Corgi protector, and took her out for a "potty break." As I walked up to the young woman, two women in a very large pickup drove up and hopped out of the cab, one of them holding a large net. They didn't head toward the young woman but over to the side of the house where there was a rather large bird hopping around, obviously unable to fly.

The bird headed under some arbor vitae at the side of the house next to a fence and the two women (I later learned one was a volunteer from the Audobon Society and one was a vet) were able to capture it in the net. After a quick exam, they declared this beautiful red-eyed predator to be a Sharp-shinned Hawk that had an injured wing. If they can rehabilitate it, they'll bring it back and release it in the neighborhood. So stay tuned for the follow-up!

Update: Just talked with the Audobon Society's Wildlife Center and they said that when they x-rayed the wing there was a fracture just below the shoulder. Because these birds are such amazing aerialists, if they'd set it the shoulder would have fused and it wouldn't ever be able to fly properly, so it had to be put to sleep. I'm really sad about it. Such a beautiful creature!


Anonymous said...

Wow!! Cool hawk sighting (poor thing). We have a cooper's hawk that visits our backyard frequently... he has easy pickens of finches and junco's from our "bird"feeder out back ;)

Kathleen Bauer said...

It was so exciting! I'm just glad our intrepid feline hunter was inside curled up in his favorite chair.

I'm so sad, though, that it didn't survive. Such and amazing creature.