The road to recovery | SierraSun.com

The road to recovery

Photo by Josh Miller/Sierra Sun Connie Stevens inspects the hawk that was hit by a truck in Olympic Heights when it swooped in front of the vehicle.
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The last week and a half has been traumatic for a young redtail hawk that swooped in front of a truck on Glenshire Drive and got lodged in the grill of the moving pickup.But now things are looking up.After enduring a lengthy extrication effort that had town employees dismantling the vehicle’s grill to pull the hawk from its tangled location, the young bird is resting at the Wildlife Shelter in Homewood, recovering well from its ordeal.

The bird’s improving condition is amazing considering it hit the truck with enough impact to bend the front grill and continue upward until its head was positioned next to the truck’s radiator.After the collision the hawk was examined by veterinarian Mike Ryan at the Sierra Pet Clinic, who found no distinguishable injury to its wings or body.”It was shaken up, but we couldn’t find any broken bones,” said Ryan. “It was a lucky hawk.”The hawk was then taken to the Wildlife Shelter in Homewood, where it is improving daily, said Connie Stevens, the shelter’s director.

“He has no broken bones, it was just shock,” said Stevens, who said the bird may have suffered an injury to its air sac, which is part of its respiratory system. “It’s definitely recoverable,” she said of the injury.Since it has been at the shelter, the hawk, which Stevens believes is a one-year-old male redtail, has slowly progressed until it has now regained most of its strength.”As long as he continues to improve he should be flying soon,” said Stevens.

And that means that the bird’s release is imminent. Stevens will bring it back to Olympic Heights, where it was hit by the truck, as soon as she sees a break in the winter weather.”When the weather looks good and I can get three days of optimal weather, I think it would be time to release him,” said Stevens.It costs the Wildlife Shelter $15 per day to feed and care for the hawk. Donations can be sent to Wildlife Shelter, c/o Director Connie Stevens, P.O. Box 226, Homewood, CA 96141-0226