Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society saves red-tailed hawk from wiry trap

Red tailed hawk

Stuck between two wire fences in Cranberry, this large, female, red-tailed hawk was outraged. It was bloody with twisted wings and had an injured foot, beat up by its efforts to escape.

Red-tails eat mostly mammals, such as squirrels and other rodents, and likely it had been chasing something that disappeared into this space.

Once the fence was cut, while grabbing the hawk by its feet, Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society president Merrilee Prior noticed it was banded, indicating an earlier rescue.

Two hours later, it was on the last Pacific Coastal Airlines flight of the day. Orphaned Wildlife Society in Delta confirmed it had already spent time there in 2012, after it had been rescued in Pemberton, where it was eventually released after rehab.

How it made its way to Powell River is interesting to speculate. Possibly the big summer fires in Pemberton in 2017 drove it eastward.

Recovery went well this time and arrangements were made for the hawk’s return to PROWLS. However, when being placed in its crate, preparing to leave for the airport, an infection on its leg had suddenly flared up—possibly from an embedded blackberry thorn.

Placed on antibiotics and with a surgery booked, her Pacific Coastal flight was cancelled temporarily.

It will be another one to two weeks and then, we hope, she will be back in Cranberry.