Not too long ago, we played host to a red-tailed hawk who was suffering the effects of our long, harsh Vermont winter. She was emaciated and crawling with internal parasites, but she was full of fire and spirit – take a look back at her humble beginnings in the VINS rehab department.
Watch a video of this red-hot red-tail on her journey back into the wild.
In a little more than one month, this red-tail put on 220 grams – about ½ pound. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s quite a lot for a bird who weighs in at a meager 2.6 pounds. It’s the equivalent of a 130 pound human gaining 24.5 pounds in 40 days!
This special gal was the embodiment of everything we love about red-tailed hawks. She was graceful and wild and nothing short of spectacular. We suspect she was getting on in years – her dark amber eyes, bright red unblemished tail, and chocolate-hued body were good indications of her age – so she had certainly earned her red-tail attitude. During her time at VINS, she put on plenty of weight, got in some practice flights, and tested her new strength on live prey – and she’s ready to go!
As you’ll see in the video of her release, madam red-tail was, indeed, red-hot! She’s raising her hackles – the feathers on top of her head - and looking as fierce as possible. Though she gets a bit of a short start initially, once her freedom sinks in, she takes a nice long flight into the forest. Farewell, feisty lady!