08052018 Red-tailed Hawk - 1
I was out and about this afternoon when Bob called me asking if I could get another bird. This one was sitting against the barrier wall between the east and westbound traffic on the I69 / HWY 14 overpass; it was in the westbound lane. Knowing that area, I was a bit concerned for my safety in trying to retrieve the bird, as that is a very high traffic area, and if it were still on the overpass there is really no safe place in which to pull over. I asked Bob if he could call the Fort Wayne police department to see if they could send an officer to assist with traffic control and he said he would. I arrived on the scene about 10 minutes later and did not see the bird on the overpass. I was getting ready to turn around to see if he made it over to the east bound lane when I spotted him. He had moved to the grassy area by exit ramp. I was able to safely park on the shoulder and set about getting my net, gloves and rescue box and headed down to retrieve him. I was able to distract him with my one hand while lowering the net over him with the other hand. I did a foot grab and was able to quickly get him upright and into the rescue box. As I was heading up the hill the Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control and the Fort Wayne Police arrived on the scene. I thanked them for coming out to assist and that I had the red-tailed hawk safely in the rescue box. With that, I got back in my truck and turned around heading north to our ICU facility. He was assessed and we could find nothing wrong with this adult red tail. He was alert / active but it is a bit on the “thin” side which means that it hadn’t eaten for awhile. He was given subcutaneous fluids and carnivore care which is a liquid food for raptors. He will be seen tomorrow by Dr Funnell for a complete examination.
Later this evening I called the individual that reported the bird to us. He stated that the bird was in the middle of the road on top of the overpass. Traffic actually stopped so the bird could get to the barrier wall. He said it hopped / attempted a low flight and was at the wall when they drove off. He was quite surprised when I told him where he was when I found him. So he might have gotten struck by a car or maybe just rolled by the wind of a passing vehicle….we will never know.
This hawk is currently in our rehabilitation facility. It has taken him a while to recover his strength. We have started creance flying which is basically exercising the bird's flight muscles. Once he meets the requirements for being strong enough to fly he will be released.