Friday, November 12, 2010

Your Standard Red-Tail

Now this is how a red-tailed hawk is supposed to look: dark brown eyes, mottled brown feathers and a rusty red tail. Compare her to the leucistic red-tailed hawk seen recently in Vermont -- what a difference! See a video of the red-tail shown below being released.

Above, VINS Education Intern Katie Christman releases a red-tailed hawk.

This red-tail came to VINS after being found on the ground in a person's backyard. Upon exam, we found the hawk to be slightly thin with a bit of soft tissue damage. She was also missing a talon on her left foot. Our first thought was that perhaps the loss of a talon was effecting her ability to hunt, resulting in her losing a touch of weight. But after some care and recuperation, we were able to place this hawk in our flight cage and live prey test her. She's a beautiful flier, and had no problem hunting 3 live mice we placed in her enclosure. We suspect she probably flew into something or was struck by a car, resulting in her temporary grounding.

So after just a month of care, we sent this red-tail back to the skies. See her release here.

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