Red-tailed Hawk Rescue

 The First of the Year Margaret Pickell  It won’t make prime time news, but the anticipation of what a rehabilitator’s first arrival of the New Year will be is just as exciting as the first baby born of the New Year. During the winter, several days may pass before our services are needed.  This winter robins were frequenting the area so I thought one of them would be my first patient, but it was not to be. As our family was settling in for some ‘New Year’ conversation, the phone rang and on the other end was a family traveling from Louisiana to Portland, Texas. They were approaching Houston when a red-tailed hawk hit them. Yes, that was their statement. Evaluating the situation with the usual questions of injury and status, I suddenly realized exactly what ‘hit them’ meant. The hawk had crashed into the grill of their moving vehicle and remained there as we spoke. I immediately communicated to them that they should pull over and wait for our arrival. My husband and I rushed to the location and after some careful tugging, intricate manipulation, and maneuvering of the plastic grill the hapless passenger was freed at last. Amazingly, the hawk was still alive!  Overcoming weeks of long-drawn-out physical recovery, heaven only knows what mental thoughts must have gone through the bird’s mind. It was very comforting   when the family would call to check on him regularly. The bird had two fractures in the wing. Unfortunately, even making all the progress that the red-tailed hawk was able to make, he is not fit to be returned to the wild. But this isn’t the end of the story. An overwhelmingly positive aspect of this experience is that with [...]