After a ghastly accident where a Red-Tailed Hawk flew into the side of a truck, wildlife rescuers gave it the care it needed to recover. The bird was found caught in the front grill of a car, but thanks to quick action from some animal rescuers, it made a full recovery. The PAWS Wildlife Center near the Seattle area cared for the bird for a couple of weeks before releasing it back into the wild.
Jeff Brown is a Wildlife Naturalist for the PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood. He detailed the hawk’s recovery. “It was unable to fly, it was hemorrhaging from its mouth,” Brown told Fox 13. A series of photos illustrate the scene after the hawk struck a truck near Duvall. “Pretty dramatic to see what it looked like before it was rescued and removed from the grill.” Brown explained. “As you can see from that second photo, definitely stunned.”
The before and after pictures of a Red-Tailed Hawk are hard to believe, after wildlife rescuers nursed the bird back to health following a devastating crash into a truck. #FOX13 https://t.co/Hih1NsD47A— FOX 13 Seattle (@fox13seattle) November 25, 2022
The driver contacted Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for assistance, and they responded swiftly by transporting the hawk to PAWS Wildlife Center. “They were pretty integral in saving the hawk for sure,” said Brown. “A law enforcement officer did respond, rescued this hawk, got it in a safe spot, and transported it to us very quickly, so we could provide stabilization care.”
The X-Rays showed that, fortunately, there were no broken bones or other orthopedic issues. “Really it just had a lot of bruising around its spine, so our staff just made sure that we managed its pain,” explained Brown. “About 10 days into care we started noticing it started taking some short flights, and we were pretty excited about that.”
The Red-Tailed Hawk not only recovered but found a mate
After the initial testing was complete, it took approximately one week before the bird could be released into the wild. The WDFW revealed to the PAWS staff where they had discovered the bird. Shortly after, it was released back into the wild in its home territory. The hawk then found what seem to be its partner, much to everyone’s joy.
“It was another adult Red-Tail Hawk, they flew next to each other, they started vocalizing. One would land in a tree, the other would land next to it. .. that was pretty cool,” recalled Brown.
Brown urges people to contact PAWS or wildlife officials if they discover an injured animal. He explained that birds such as hawks can be saved. “An animal that is hit by a vehicle is not necessarily dead, or it’s not a death sentence. We are able to rehabilitate them successfully,” explained Brown.
According to Brown, PAWS typically cares for between 4500-5000 animals yearly; with more than 2000 of those patients being birds.