In the late afternoon of December 16, 2010, we were surprised to discover a large bird, with wings spread, standing on our hillside. After the initial shock wore off, we knew we had to act. Tom phoned Arizona Fish & Game who replied, “It must be someone’s pet”. Not the answer we were searching for, we pressed on.
Google taught us this was a Ferruginous Hawk, and that there was a Wildlife Rehabilitator in our area. We dialed the number, but the person on the other end knew nothing about rehab. We phoned our vet who informed us he was unable to assist wildlife.
Desperate, we phoned AZ Fish & Game again, describing the hawk by name, and asking for a solution. Within five minutes we received a call from Kenny Wilkins. He arranged to pick up the hawk the following morning.
Tom, wearing sturdy gloves, gingerly lifted the hawk, carried it to our garage, and placed it in a large, empty box. We gave it water in a shallow bowl, and draped a fishing net over the box so the hawk couldn’t escape.
As promised, Kenny arrived at sunrise the next day. He placed the hawk in a pet carrier, and queried Tom about our hawk discovery.
Kenny’s mission was to deliver the hawk to the Cerbat Rehab Center for x-rays and rehydration. According to Kenny, “After rehabilitation, 8 out of 10 times they call the ranger who brought the hawk in to release it back where it was found.”
Whether the hawk is returned to our neighborhood or released elsewhere, our wish is for it to be healthy. If you come across injured wildlife, call your local Fish & Game Dept.
To view Kenny’s stunning photography of nature, visit KennyWilkins.com.