I decided today that I would name my red-tailed hawk Adohi. This is when I thought she was a he. It turns out Adohi is actually a girl, but I'm known for naming animals opposite of their appropriate gender. The day I rescued Adohi, I wrote about what happened. I want to keep a reminder here of what happened that day.
I just had a huge emotional breakdown after watching a semi knock this full grown hawk for a loop. He was sprawled out on his back in the middle of the highway. I stopped my car, put on the emergency lights and walked over to it. It wasn't moving, but it I could see its huge chest move up and down. By this time I've infuriated at least 50 people with the entire highway backed up. I am so scared of the talons. I touch its tail to see if it will move. It doesn't. I touch its sharp talons, maybe to prepare for what I could be on the receiving end of. I take a deep breath and scoop him into my hands, holding firmly, but away from my body. In the few feet it took to put him in the grass from the pavement of the highway, he jolted awake and started cocking his head, looking at me curiously. I said out loud, "Please don't bite me, please don't bite me, please don't bite me." I put him down in the grass safely. A man walks up to me, introduces himself as Mike, a fireman from Lancaster. He gets the Carolina Raptor Center on the phone. Mike wrapped up the hawk in his coat and is now transporting the hawk to Huntersville. We traded numbers, so he will be in touch with me and I will know if the bird makes it or not. Call me stupid, I'm a softy for wildlife.
This is Adohi on that day. February 21, 2012.
I was able to keep up with Adohi's progress at a website where the Carolina Raptor Center keeps track of all their daily care. You can view that website here and a list of their current patients here: http://raptormed.carolinaraptorcenter.org/
Adohi did remarkably well during her five night stay at CRC. Yes, you read that right, she recovered well enough in just five days. These birds are resilient.
Adohi was brought to my home this morning and released to 300 acres of dense forest with many creeks and a nearby cow pasture with a big pond. She will have a good life here.
I've learned some interesting things about red-tails. The first thing is that they're monogamous, which means they only mate with one other hawk for their entire lives, unless one dies. Hopefully, Adohi should have enough time to find a mate before this Spring. He will be her forever, companion.
The other thing is that a red-tailed hawk's call is exactly that of which you may think a bald eagle's is. If you search on youtube, a bald eagle actually has a cackling call. Red-tails have the super awesome majestic sounding scream.
Meeting the red tailed hawk was such a great experience from beginning to end-- definitely a positive chapter in my life story. The lesson? Never assume the worst. I thought she was dead when she was hit. Now, she's perched up in a tall pine, freaking out all the little birds in my back yard. I hope you grow into adulthood and have a great life, Adohi.