802.359.5000 | WILD BIRD REHAB: x510
Not every bird that comes into our care is able to heal. Although we try our best with each bird — no matter what kind of bird it is — we are not always able to help every patient return to his or her home in the wild.
The hawk’s left eye was completely missing, and had been for some time judging by the color and texture of the wound. The bird was also very emaciated (thin, or starving), as he probably could not hunt well — if at all — due to his missing eye. Hawks need both eyes to hunt in the wild. If they can’t hunt, they can’t eat. Upon examination, we knew right away this bird would not be returnable to the wild for this reason.
But some birds who are non-releasable get a second chance at life… a new life.
After observing her for a month we can see she is habituated to humans, which means she is unafraid of people. She is also used to being taken care of and fed by humans, and would likely not be able to fend for herself in the wild. All of these facts add up to a bird that we cannot release to the wild. Lucky for this little bird, there is an Audubon Center that is looking for a crow!
Poor hawk. Lucky crow. I wish they could all live out a nice long, healthy, natural life. Thanks for all your hard work trying to make that so.
Such a sad story! You all have to make very difficult decisions. We certainly admire what you do every day. Keep doing a great job!
What a sad story. You guys are doing great work, though!
Can oprivate citizens provide forster homes for birds like this? I don't have the resources; but I know some people who might.
In answer to the "Anonymous" comment posted on 11/20: Only individuals with the proper state and federal licenses to house birds permanently on their property can take in a raptor (or any wild bird). I believe you would need a wildlife rehabilitator's license, or an educator's license — possibly both. You can contact your state's Fish and Wildlife department for information.
It is important to remember that not every bird that is injured can be saved. While some permanently injured birds adapt well to captivity and can serve as educational birds, many do not make that adjustment. The bird's quality of life must be considered when transitioning a bird from a life in the wild to one of captivity.
Thank you for your inquiry.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.