Sharp-shinned Hawk in Corona de Tucson, AZ (from my archives)
Last week I posted the story of the attempted rescue of a possibly injured hawk along route 85 south of Colchester, CT. My sister spotted the bird on her way home from work and called me to ask what to do. This started a 3 hour vigil to find help for this hawk and ended with Todd Selecki of A Place Called Hope coming to the rescue. In those 3 hours I sat at my computer in Massachusetts searching the internet and reaching out for help to the birding community. You can read the whole story of the Hawk Rescue Attempt here but here is the update in Todd’s own words. I asked his permission to post his email response when I inquired about what type of hawk it was, since my sister is not (yet) a birder. Here is what Todd had to say:
This was a Sharp Shinned Hawk, most likely female due to it's size. Females are always larger than males in the world of Birds of Prey. When I arrived the bird had flown off. After the Police Officer and I searched the area for about twenty minutes, we located her in a thicket of briars. She was hunkered down and did not appear to have any visible injuries. Do you happen to know if your sister was able to get close enough to see any obvious trauma? We then chased her out of the thicket and she took flight (quite well) about three feet off the ground moving very fast. She flew off into a near by Pine Grove. It was at this point that we lost her and then spent another hour searching. We unfortunately could not locate her.Our best guess is that she must be ok since she was able to fly and maneuver through the tree branches. She may have been stunned and in the amount of time that it took for me to arrive, she had shaken it off. The Police Officer was very helpful as he spent a good amount of time invested in this "rescue". I am sorry I was not able to capture her to look her over to be 100% sure that she was ok. I will say that she looked good and showed no sign of broken bones. That being said, I can only hope that she will survive the incident with no lingering issues.All of us at A Place Called Hope appreciate concerned passerby's such as your sister, who took the time out of her day to make those endless calls. One of the calls she made was to Grace Krick, who is our Vice President. Both Christine and Grace were unavailable and that is how I got the call. We try to work together to make every effort to rescue those in need. Unfortunately, there are not many Wildlife Rehabilitators due to the fact that the economy is so bad and the state does not fund our efforts. Most of us have day jobs and must work around work schedules. I am happy that I was able to go out on the call, but disappointed that I was unable to secure the Sharpie.Thank you for linking our web site to your blog. We appreciate your support. Please tell your sister that we appreciate all she went through in trying to get help. We know how frustrating those calls can be. Especially on a weekday morning!Sincerely,Todd
I hope as you read this story that you will consider donating to A Place Called Hope or a raptor rehabber near you. These people are the only ones out there who can legally help these birds. However, the task is often overwhelming, as you can read in Susie Gilbert’s book on the subject, Flyaway. I contacted Suzie during this ordeal and she tried her best to help me from her location in Upstate NY. I will say once again, Thank you to everyone who helped or even tried to help this hawk. I can only hope she is flying wild and free in the forest and fields of Connecticut.