From Janice: This morning I finished up my Lights Out route around 11 AM. I had a live and a dead Brown Creeper. Took them to the center and processed them, did paper work, etc. Headed out to release a turtle and to do my usual Lorain County birding, but didn’t make it very far before I got a call about an injured hawk in the basement of a vacant building in Cleveland.
When I hear about birds trapped in buildings, I always picture the worst. Like the time when there was a Turkey Vulture trapped in a church basement, but it was 10 feet up on a ceiling and I couldn’t jump high enough to catch it… Needless to say, I grabbed a quick lunch and turned around to head to Cleveland! After all, I want to help as many birds as I can! It took me roughly 25 minutes to get there from Avon.
When I arrived, the people that called somehow managed to get the hawk into another room with windows. I was a bit nervous when I stepped into the room. The ceilings were high and there were stairs with a door at the bottom (probably leading to the basement it was originally trapped in). As soon as I entered the room, I noticed the hawk was perched on the downstairs door. It was a beautiful Red-tailed Hawk. As soon as the bird spotted me, it flew right towards me. I had only seconds to act!
I put my net up and caught it mid air (trust me…I was as shocked as he was)! It took me longer to get him out of my net than it did to catch him! The bird was examined at Lake Erie Nature and Science Center where it was a little underweight, but no injuries. We put him in a flight cage and gave him some food and water to get his weight up. We should be releasing it in a couple of days (after it gets a nice, shiny band of course)!