The princess was feeling quite a bit better when I went out to check the cage this morning. We tried to give her a restful night, but of course the girls and I couldn’t help peeking in from time to time. When I went up about 2 AM she was standing in the corner with her head tucked under her wing. A blanket covered the cage to darken it. When I lifted the blanket first thing this morning she was standing there looking at me, beak half open. She didn’t touch any of the chicken the kids provided for her, and I don’t know if she drank any of the water, but she did crap in the cage, as well as outside of it (thus settling the age-old debate about whether bird poop just drops out or has actual velocity), so at least that end of her is working. If you don’t know to whom I refer here, check out the post immediately below this one.
I ran out and picked up a pair of thick work gloves, and about 10:30 AM we transferred her from the wire cage to a cardboard box that would be safer for travelling. She didn’t appreciate the effort we were going to on her behalf, and just about put her talons through the gloves. About 11:15 AM we arrived at The Raptor Trust in Millington, New Jersey, on the edge of the Great Swamp wildlife refuge. The Trust just celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary, and they have quite a compound there. After a young lady took the box from us we walked around and viewed the collection of raptors. Among the permanent residents are Great Snowy Owls, Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, Vultures, Peregrine Falcons, and three or four kinds of hawks. It’s really quite a place.
Eventually we want back to the office to collect our box and towel. The volunteer who accepted the hawk from us told us she was a Broadwing, not a Red-tailed. She said that after the bird had calmed down they would be giving her a complete medical examination including x-rays, after which they would know what actions to take. If possible she will be returned to the wild. We’d like to think that’s what will happen. I feel pretty good about her chances after having her talons wrapped around my gloved fingers this morning. The staff at the Trust think she was probably hit by a car and stunned, and if she can’t fly it might indicate a broken shoulder bone. I’ll try to find out what happens to her and post an update down the road.