THE HOWARD AVENUE RED TAILED HAWK



On June 11th,
Chrissy Dormer and her sister Jacqueline rushed a baby Red Tailed
Hawk to Red Creek. Found "helpless in the street" on Howard
Avenue in Pottsville, this two week old raptor was covered with
maggots. Infected burns were found on her left leg and chest. She was
weak and lethargic. 



The
matted feathers on the leg in the first photograph are actually
active maggots invading the skin under the down.



Peggy and 
Lori went to work right away cleaning wounds, removing the maggots
and administering fluids. Once hydrated, the hawk was placed on
antibiotics to fight the infection.



Within hours
this baby hawk became the talk of Facebook. 



Jacquie, a
photojournalist for the Republican-Herald Newspaper, posted pictures
of the hawk’s arrival at Red Creek. Comments, shares and prayers
accumulated online while we worked fervently to save the little
girl’s life.



By the very
next day the young bird was visibly stronger. She started eagerly
eating and began her journey to becoming a healthy, strong "Bird
of Prey."



June 23rd,
having completely healed and finished the treatment of antibiotics,
the baby Red Tail was placed out in the flight pen. There she joined
two adult and three juvenile hawks who would serve as a foster family
for the baby. One of the adult hawks is a very aged female Red Tail
that can no longer fly.  Having a permanently injured wing from
a collision with a car, "Old Mama" now serves as a Red
Creek foster mother.



By August 1st
the baby Red Tail wasn’t a baby any more. Now fully feathered and
gaining experience at hunting and flight, the bird waited for her
time of freedom. On August 22nd, Jacquie Dormer returned with her
camera and photographed the release.



It was a
perfect day with blue skies and a light breeze as the hawk gently
flew up into the trees. She, along with the three foster siblings
released that day, remained at Red Creek for several weeks while
honing hunting and soaring skills that would ensure her survival.



 As I
reviewed the photographs for this article, I noticed something: this
hawk had a look of wild determination and ferocity when she arrived,
and it never left her face. From the moment she came in, until her
release date, that look mirrored her attitude.  Perhaps that is
why she healed so quickly and thrived so well… or maybe it was
all the prayers from her Facebook followers.