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PROWLS aids red-tailed hawk

Red-tailed hawk and Merrilee

BAD BREAK: A call about a young eagle in Stillwater came as no surprise; this is a difficult time for last year’s eaglets. So Merrilee Prior, PROWLS president, loaded up the kennel and called on photographer Michelle Pennell to come along and give a hand.

They arrived to find not an eagle, but a hawk with the distinctive markings and unmistakable red-tail that give it its name. It was huddled near the hedge in the front yard, trying to avoid notice.

Merrilee held its attention with a towel in one hand, while wielding a net with the other, capturing it before it had time to even lift its wings in threat. When lifted up, a few things became apparent. It was a young male, hatched less than a year ago, and very fearful. It had been down for a few days, and was weak and emaciated.

The red-tailed hawk had likely been hit by a car; it had abrasions on its right side, bruising on its leg and, most importantly for the young hawk, a broken right wing. As soon as she saw it, Merrilee realized it was a very bad situation.

The break was close to the wrist, and both bones were dry and black. A quick consult with the experts at Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) in Delta on the drive back to town confirmed the next step. A call was made to Westview Veterinary Hospital, and Dr. Field very kindly put an end to the suffering.

While sometimes this is the only recourse, it is still really difficult.