Care of Magical Creatures, Part 2

By Dana Ripper

Crash with one of her caretakers, MU
student Jeremy Mercer. 
Crash’s leg with the size-6 band.
Note the talons, terrifying to lowly
passerine banders!  🙂

On Monday we had another great opportunity to work with the superior rehabbers at Mizzou’s Raptor Rehab Project.  This time, it was a Cooper’s Hawk that turned out to be a BIG female.  The ironically named “Crash” had hit a window and had an injured coracoid bone; the RRP had her for about a month before the University of Missouri vets gave her the OK for release.

Crash weighed in at a huge 570 g, and had a healthy muscle mass.  Her eye color and feather patterns indicated that she was a Hatch-Year bird. Once again, the hawk was expertly handled by one of the RRP members, Jeremy, while we banded and took measurements.  We then had the excellent experience of watching Crash’s release.

On this visit to the RRP we saw our friend Amber Edwards, educator and biologist with the Prairie Fork Conservation Area, who somehow also has time to work rehabilitating raptors.  She gave us a tour of the compound, where we saw several of the resident birds that are used for education programs.  These birds include Willie the Red-tailed Hawk, a resident of the RRP since 1997, and a Harlin’s Hawk that arrived in 1987 as an adult!  

Amber Edwards with Willie.

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