Wildlife Center Rehabilitates, Releases Injured Hawk Found by PG&E Crew

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A red-tailed hawk found badly injured by PG&E crews more than a year ago was released today (Jan. 10) in a San Jose park after the utility partnered with a wildlife center to rehabilitate the raptor.

PG&E employees arriving to work at a substation in Fremont discovered the hawk in October 2012. The bird, an adult female, sustained burns to its wings, feet, chest, abdomen and face. It couldn’t fly.

Originally taken to a nearby humane society, the hawk was transferred to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley in San Jose for emergency treatment.

The center, which takes in more than 4,000 orphaned, injured and sick birds and mammals each year, is the largest wildlife rehabilitation center in Santa Clara County.

Ashley Kinney, the center’s wildlife rehabilitation supervisor, said she knew right away that the hawk would survive despite its injuries.

“She had a light in her eye and she was very feisty,” Kinney said. “We knew she was capable of healing.”

Due to the severity of the hawk’s injuries, the center couldn’t release the bird until it fully molted the old, damaged feathers and grew in a new set that enabled it to fly again. The bird was held in a large flight conditioning enclosure to allow it to build up needed strength and stamina to survive in the wild.

During its recovery, the hawk was fed 10 small mice a day or one large rat. By the time of its release it was plumper than most hawks, Kinney said.

The bird was released at Grant Ranch Park, a remote location nestled in a valley below Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton high above San Jose. The habitat is ideal with lots of trees for cover and ample food supply.

In an instant, the hawk flew and perched at the top of a nearby tree where it remained for about 15 minutes. Then as volunteers cheered and yelled “You go girl,” it flew off and joined a group of other red-tailed hawks.

“She can do whatever she wants,” Kinney said. “She’s a free woman.”
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Ojai Raptor Center , a non profit wildlife rehabilitation center in Ojai and some of its resident birds including a now released Golden Eagle from bishop who at the time had a broken wing , also a Bald eagle ,Red tail hawk, Falcon, Barred owl, Great horned owl, Kestrel, Barn owl ,Screech owl . Thanks ORC for saving thousands of federally protected raptors , nature would not be the same without birds of prey.

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