On November 28, on US 101 where it winds through the gas stations and fast food joints of Eureka California, a Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) was in hot pursuit of a Sparrow. She caught the Sparrow but was hit by a car in the heavy traffic. A quick-thinking, kind-hearted man saw her get hit, saw her lying on the ground at risk of being hit again and pulled her from the roadway. The Sparrow was dead.
A staff member from our clinic, Humboldt Wildlife Care Center, met him at a nearby restaurant – he’d found a brown paper bag to put her in.
During her admission examination we found no broken bones or any other major injuries, just a small laceration near her mouth. She was stunned and disoriented. We gave her a mild anti-inflammatory pain reliever and moved her to our raptor aviary. She immediately flew to the highest perch. We left her with food for the night.
The next morning her food was gone and she was flying restlessly around her enclosure. After another examination we determined that she was fully recovered – in fact she was going drive herself crazy and maybe even injure herself. Captivity was no longer helping her. We released her later that day, a few blocks from where she was found.
We may think of the wild as a place we might visit. It’s hard for some of us to see the dumpster behind a restaurant or the overhang of a gas station as habitat for the wild. But it is. The wild has no boundaries. The wild is where we all live – hawks, sparrows, people. The Wild is everywhere, always.
Your support provided everything that the kind, quick-thinking man needed to save this hawk’s life. Without your support there would have been no one he could call – no one to provide medicine, no one to supply an appropriate aviary for this hawk to recover from her ordeal. Your support makes all of this possible. We’re counting on you!!
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