Into the Wild

April 11 was a big day for the red-tailed hawk that VINS Wildlife Services had in rehabilitation since November 2008. This hawk made a triumphant recovery over the span of nearly 5 months at VINS, and he was released back into the woods of Vermont this past Saturday.

The hawk, which was featured in an earlier blog entry, Red Tail Recovery, was able to be released in a location close to where it was originally found. In fact, the man who found the hawk on the highway in South Royalton, VT, was there with his family to watch the release of this magnificent, strong bird.

Watch a video of the hawk’s release by clicking here! You’ll notice in the video, the hawk is sometimes accidentally referred to as a “she” when in fact this hawk is male. The best way to identify a raptor’s sex is by size and weight, and unlike humans, it’s the female who is normally larger than her male counterpart. The hawk we released was just over 1000 grams, while the average female’s weight in the wild is more than 1200 grams, or about 2.5 pounds. In the photo above, note the red tail on the hawk.


  1. Unknown on April 19, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Great job on the rehabilitation and release! Was this bird also banded before release?

  2. Meghan on April 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Thank you! Yes, this hawk was banded by ornithologist Al Hinde the day before release. Keep posted for a future blog entry about banding wild birds!

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