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PROWLS helps sharp-shinned hawk recover from cat attack

Sharp shinned hawk

HAMPERED HAWK: In the midst of being mauled by two cats, this sharp-shinned hawk was rescued by the neighbours, who quickly chased the cats off. The hawk then skittered across the deck seeking further escape but was hampered by its injuries.

Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS) was called.

With its body badly torn up, the hawk received both topical and internal antibiotics and was placed in a small kennel. After confirming with Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society ( in Delta that they could meet the hawk when it arrived, a flight with Pacific Coastal Airlines was arranged.

The sharp-shinned is a tiny hawk, the smallest in Canada, slightly larger than a robin, which made it easy prey for the cats. It is now receiving the best of care and we hope to see it back soon.

Impressive hunters, they make great use of cover and stealth to get close to their prey, surprising it at close range rather than diving from great heights; they appear in a blur of motion and are daring, acrobatic flyers. Adults feed their young for several weeks after the young can fly, as the fledglings gain hunting skills.

In the winter season, look for sharp-shinned hawks at forest edges, in somewhat more open habitats than the dense forests they breed in, as well as in suburban areas with bird feeders.