ShareThis Page
Injured hawk takes to the sky after successful rehab |

Injured hawk takes to the sky after successful rehab

Jacob Tierney


After two months of bed rest, an injured red-tailed hawk again took to the skies Monday over Western Pennsylvania.

A man found the hawk in December lying in the street in Ohio Township and rescued it, bringing it to Wildlife Works animal rehabilitation facility in Youngwood.

The cause of the bird’s injuries was unclear.

“We don’t actually know what happened to her,” Wildlife Works office manager Monica Leuthold said. “There were no outward injuries.”

She suspects the hawk may have been “bumped” by a car, suffering muscle damage but no broken bones.

Wildlife Works regularly brings in large birds as patients — seven raptors so far in 2019. The large birds often have run-ins with cars.

“It probably has a lot to do with roadkill,” Leuthold said. “It’s an easy meal.”

The hawk released Monday is a fairly typical case, though not all end so successfully. Some succumb to their injuries. Many in 2018 were felled by West Nile virus, Leuthold said.

Monday’s release was the end result of a typical successful rehabilitation.

The hawk was brought to Wildlife Works in an animal carrier with a heating pad to keep it warm. It was given a full examination, then put on bed rest in an indoor pen until it was strong enough to be moved outside.

Eventually, the hawk was moved to Wildlife Works’ raptor barn, a facility with enough room for large birds to stretch their wings, practice flying and get their strength back. The hawk was hand-fed in the early stages of its recovery, but munched on mice and rats once it moved to the barn.

It doesn’t have a name, and Wildlife Works volunteers aren’t even sure of its gender, though Leuthold refers to it as female.

“You don’t want to go around naming your patients, because then you’ll get attached to them,” she said.

It hasn’t yet developed the red tail its species is known for, which means it is a juvenile, younger than 3 years old.

On Monday, volunteers trekked from Youngwood to Ohio Township, near where the injured hawk was discovered.

Hawks are territorial, so it’s best to release them near their turf, Leuthold said.

She said watching any animal go free is her favorite part of working with Wildlife Works.

“The release is always the best part,” she said. “Even if it’s just a turtle, walking slowly away.”

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, or via Twitter .

Categories: News | Regional
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.