STARVING INVADER: Found in a chicken coop being beaten up by an outraged rooster, this starving red-tailed hawk had just killed and eaten a hen. Its crop, a pouch-like enlargement of the esophagus where incoming food mixes with grit to facilitate digestion, was bulging from its large breakfast, but its body was thin.
Suffering leg and wing injuries from the rooster’s attack, the hawk was rescued by the rooster’s owner and placed in a cat carrier to make the trip from Texada Island to Powell River. It was met at the ferry by Powell River Wildlife Society and taken straight to Paciﬁc Coastal Airlines along with a northern saw-whet owl that also needed care.
Both birds were transferred to Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta, where specialists care for raptors. After four weeks of antibiotics and rehabilitation, the red-tailed hawk was returned to Powell River, healthy and well fed. It went directly from the airport to the Texada ferry, where BC Ferries crew kept it safe until it could be handed over to a hardworking volunteer.
This hawk was released close to its original territory. Extremely grumpy by this time, it kicked the door of its cage open and bolted out.
The red-tailed hawk is the most common hawk in North America; its population is doing well.