By George Brown
A rehabilitated red-tail hawk was returned to the azure skies over central Alberta Sept. 26.
Volunteers with the Medicine River Wildlife Centre near Innisfail released the male hawk in the JJ Collette Natural Area south of Morningside.
The hawk was found two months ago near Olds, injured, with some feathers cut off. “We’re thinking it got caught up in some farm machinery,” said Judy Boyd, a volunteer, who along with her husband Larry operate a wildlife first aid station in Red Deer. “We’ve had everything from hummingbirds to moose in our house.”
Sam Remington, who found the hawk and took it to the wildlife centre, attended to see the hawk released. “He was sitting open the side of the road and when I drove by, he didn’t move. There were also these pigeons and they flew away. I thought that was very strange.”
Another passerby stopped and together they draped a jacket over the hawk and put him in a cardboard box.
“I’m glad I found him,” Remington said.
Mr. Boyd held the hawk, posed for pictures for a group ready to go out on a nature walk and with a quick toss, released the hawk into the sky. He went straight up, then swooped over the crowd before landing in a pine grove.
“He flew nicely,” Mrs. Boyd observed.
The Medicine River Wildlife Centre will hold a public open house from noon till 5 p.m. on Oct. 18. The public will be able to see a variety of large birds up close. “You’ll also be able to tour the hospital,” Mrs. Boyd said. “That’s something the public doesn’t normally get to do.”
Call 403-728-3467 for more information or visit www.medicineriverwildlifecentre.ca