Monday, February 25, 2008

RED SHOULDERED HAWK RELEASE

This afternoon a RED SHOULDERED HAWK, that I helped to rescue from the thick mud of Back Creek last January, was released back into the wild. It was a wonderful event that I will not soon forget.The release took place on Greenbury Point in Annapolis, at the Nature Center just beyond the golf course and new athletic facility. At just about a mile or so as the 'hawk' flies from where it was found stuck in the mud, if this hawk so choses, it could easily find it's way back to Back Creek. If not, there is always lots to eat on the Point.The release was performed by Linda Moore (that is her in the photos!) from the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia. Actually, Linda is a biologist at Washington DC's National Zoo, which is run by the Smithsonian Institution. The point I making is that Linda is a trained, skilled, licensed pro when it comes to the art of releasing rehabilitated birds back into the wild.Kent Knowles, the fine gentleman in Falls Church, Virginia who runs and operates the Raptor Conservancy, should receive loads of credit as well. He not only cared for this bird, he brought her back to full health from the mud-caked state of trauma she was in when I brought her to him back in early January.This strikingly beautiful hawk was vocal for a brief bit just prior to her release, but it was not enough to get the attention of the locals. There are at least two local RED SHOULDERED HAWKS that I've seen recently on Greenbury Point. They didn't make an appearance during the bird's release. However, by now I feel quite certain that she's made their acquaintance.Linda, who drove all the way from Virginia, appeared about as happy as I was to be releasing this gorgeous bird. After a few minutes of conversation, questions and answers, Linda handed the hawk over to me an in less than a minute, she was free to fly. I was instructed to simply loft her into the air and the hawk would take care of the rest.The hawk was named 'Roberta' by the neighbors who live in the community where she found mud. Those neighbors were so very helpful that day, providing me with towels, a long pole and a kayak that helped me retrieve this raptor. They were even kind enough to squirt me with a hose on that relatively warm January day!The hawk flew up and into the pines, where she rested for a moment. Very soon after she took off heading Northwest into the blue sky. The release was fulfilling, uplifting and quite amazing, despite it lasting all of ten minutes.So if you're ever in and around the Annapolis area and you see a RED SHOULDERED HAWK, do check to see if the bird is wearing any silver 'bling', as our little Roberta has been banded.
I also would highly encourage you to donate to Kent and the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia, as they are a non-profit and do wonderful work! And go out and get a copy of the Capital newspaper on Tuesday. Their environmental reporter Pam Wood was there with their best photographer, J. Henson, covering the event!

All the best,

Dan

2 comments:

Warren & Lisa Strobel said...

Dan - Wow! Wish we could have been there. What an amazing experience. Thanks for saving the bird, and sharing the pics.

- W and L

Nikographer said...

Nice photos and a great out come.

I hope to see a release done by Linda some time in the future... She's great, such a love for wildlife.

-Jon
(www.nikographer.com)

(found via md-osprey list)

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