The Red Shouldered Hawk is a common medium sized hawk in our area, but there is nothing common about their beauty and coloring. These birds are found on the East Coast and on the California Coast and down into
Mexico and readily recognized with their rust colored shoulders and breast with white barring and highly contrasting black and white striped wings and tail.
We are always in awe of these birds as they come in and grateful for Avian Veterinarian, Dr. Jeanne Smith who will wrap wings and perform surgeries all for the love of these amazing raptors. Pat keeps them in her care as they recover and there is a delicate balance between restricting their movement while they recover and allowing them movement at just the right time.
These birds have a delicate wing web that can become frozen if restricted from movement for too long. A bird kept in a wrap too long will be unable to spread its wing or ever fly again.
The diet of these birds is typically rodents, frogs and snakes which they sight from a perch above and swoop down to catch. They are often heard crying KEE RAH before they are seen and although they are found most often in woodlands, they can also be found in suburban areas which is where these birds were found on the ground.
Pat got these two Red Shouldered Hawks in at the same time with opposite broken wings. These were wrapped with the supervision and care of Dr. Smith and the healing process began. Both birds progressed quickly which is typical and necessary for their survival.
Soon these birds were ready for the large flight cage which stretches 60' long, 20' high and 20' wide. Together they flew well and were able to hunt rodents and showed they were ready once again for freedom.
These birds were caught up, placed in crates and taken to the release site. When pulled out, these Red Shouldered Hawks showed their stress by raising the feathers on their heads. These birds have a crest that they can raise and lower.
Both birds quickly took to the air and off to freedom. The payday for Tri County Wildlife Care volunteers is our release day and we are happy to share this with you in photographs taken by Wally Gallagher.
PawsPartners.org is an alliance formed between A-PAL Humane Society of Amador County and Tri County Wildlife Care, the latter serving native wildlife in Amador, Calaveras, and Eastern San Joaquin Counties. Since inception we have added the Shelter Partners volunteer group, who support our local Animal Control organization, and Amador County Animal Response Team (ACART).