09232016 Red-tailed Hawk
9232016 - RHTA - 01
On 9/23, I was called by our Soarin' Hawk rescue coordinator, and she informed me that there was a hawk in Spencerville that had been on the ground for two days. When I called the owner of the property where the hawk was, he said that the hawk had been hanging around their property since 9/22. The bird had been flying to low perches, like logs, their tractor, low branches of trees, and the bird was allowing them to approach it and feed it. They had been feeding it chipmunks, squirrels, and fish! When I arrived, I found an immature red tailed hawk, and the bird was sitting on a low log, with a full crop, and within two feet of the owners. I was able to pick it up with no resistance from the bird whatsoever. He was very docile. I did not detect any injuries on its wings, eyes, feet, or tail. I certainly did not have to feel his keel! His crop was huge!
I took the bird to Dr. Funnell's residence. She checked him out and did not find anything wrong with it. We will likely keep him for about a month, let him mature some, fly him, and then probably release him.
Radiographs were taken today and did not reveal any fractures. This guy appears to be what we call "young and dumb". It seems to be common in Red Tail Hawks. In late summer or early fall after they are hatched, they are away from their parents and just not quite making it on their own. They are found with no injuries, just weak and thin. This guy will be fed a lot, fattened up, worked with catching live food and be returned to the wild later in the fall.