We’re fortunate to see red tailed hawks flying and soaring around our neighborhood on a daily basis. They roost in some tall Afghan pines nearby and always put on an entertaining show when they began their skillful riding of thermals in the afternoons. What’s especially amusing is how quickly the flocks of white wing doves dive for cover in lower trees when the hawks show up. They’re apparently wanting to make sure they’re not on the hawks’ lunch menu.
I wrote two weeks ago about how humans have been helping abandoned or injured animals around the state and came across another similar story recently, but with a funny twist.
It seems that some hikers along a trail In Oliver Lee State Park on the west side of the Sacramento Mountains near Alamogordo came across what appeared to be an injured red- tailed hawk. The bird appeared to have some blood stains on it and was not able to quickly fly away.
Aware that raptors’ talons and sharp beak can cause some serious injury to humans, the rescuers were able to wrap the bird in a spare jacket for their protection. They quickly took the raptor back down the trail and put it in their car to take it to the Alamogordo Zoo to see if someone could help rehabilitate it.
In their rush to get the injured animal to the Zoo, they exceeded the speed limit and were promptly stopped by a local police officer. Apparently sympathetic to their rescue effort after seeing the subdued hawk rustling around in the jacket, the officer let the driver go with just a warning ticket.
Once at the zoo, the staff determined that the bird had been injured in an encounter with a high-voltage electric line. After being patched up and kept in captivity while it healed, the hawk was released back into the wild in in Oliver Lee State Park by the family who found it.
And hopefully, they took a leisurely drive back home this time and avoided any officers swooping in to write a speeding ticket.