Thursday, February 1, 2007

Red Tail Hawk Rescue 2007

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, January 14, 2007

Corralitas Drive seems to be the place where red tails hawks come for help. A few weeks ago, I got a call from a neighbor who watched a red tail crash into the hillside next to his home. The hawk was hopping around a totally inaccessible spot on the hillside holding his wing away from his body. Plus, it was late in the day and getting dark.

The hawk went into hiding in the hillside brush the following day. I put word out on the Corralitas email list. Shortly thereafter, another neighbor called the first neighbor to say the hawk was hanging out in the first neighbor’s driveway – a good 100’ uphill climb from where he’d been the night before. Perhaps this was the sibling of the hawk we rescued less than two years ago, who used to hang out on the first neighbor’s deck (photo below).

Photo: Gary Vlahakis, June 24, 2005

The first neighbor called Animal Regulation, who did not seem anxious to come out. The hawk followed the neighbor around the street, trying to fly. The neighbor was able to snap a few photos before the hawk hopped back down the hillside (photo: top of page).

Three of us searched below the log cabins for the hawk. He camouflaged so well, it was no easy task to find him. We finally cornered the hawk with bath towels on a VERY steep portion of the hillside between the log cabins and the Corralitas Staircase. It was hard to tell if we even had the hawk in the towel because he was so lightweight. He didn’t put up a fight, although he did not want to let go of the towel after we carefully placed him in a box.

We took the hawk to animal control on Lacy St. and also called Brenda with Ojai Raptor Center, so they could pick up the injured hawk. (The City of Los Angeles sends their wildlife rescues to them since there seems to be no raptor rescuers in the City because of zoning rules.) You should always talk to Animal Control and a wildlife rescuer before you attempt rescuing wildlife.

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