Cooper’s Hawk goes to Rehab


My husband was driving on a nearby road and saw a Cooper’s Hawk sitting on the yellow line, apparently injured.  He jumped out of the car, stopped traffic, tucked the bird under his arm and drove home.  He found an appropriate box and put the bird in, closing it up in hopes it was just stunned.  I returned from the store a few minutes later and he wanted to show it to me.  When he opened the box Ms. Coop burst out and ran across the lawn but couldn’t get any lift to fly off.  Suddenly a Red-tailed Hawk swooped down on the Coop in an attack.  The Red-tail must have seen us as it abandoned the attempt and flew off without touching the Coop.  After a prolonged chase my husband recaptured the Coop (we think female due to the size) and we took her to Wildlife in Crisis, the nearest wildlife rehabilitation center.  We hoped it was just a soft tissue injury as the wings were not displaced and a preliminary exam found no obvious break, but an x-ray showed a break that would require a three month rest and recuperation.  The prognosis is good.  She is a stunningly beautiful bird but a stone cold killer of our feeder birds.  They may have a three month rest as well. (photos by George Van Der Aue)


8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Harold said,

    What a rare opportunity. Very cool!


  2. 3

    Jessica Katz said,

    Yikes! What an adventure. That bird is lucky on so many levels. It’s lucky that it didn’t get hit by a car before George rescued her, as well as being saved from the Red-tail and being taken to a rehabber with a survivable injury. If it were a cat, she’d have used up half of her lives.

    George was certainly the right hero in the right place.



  3. 5

    Marjorie L. said,

    What a happy ending! I had great mental pictures of George rescuing the hawk from the road and then chasing it for recapture in your yard after the red-tail entered the picture. Our hero, George.


  4. 7

    jendionne10 said,

    Awesome! I myself rescued a hawk in the middle of the road many years ago. Unfortunately, it died at our rehabilitation center of its injuries but at least it didn’t die in the road! What an experience I still remember. Thanks for caring!!


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