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Red-shouldered Hawks Reunited After Seven Months
A female red-shouldered hawk waited 7 months for her male counterpart to return to the nest, making what began as a near-impossible reunion turn into a fairy tale ending.
An injured hawk was brought to the Piedmont Wildlife Center hospital and our veterinarian performed a very difficult surgery to separate the poorly healed fractures and to reset the bones to straighten the wing but feared the hawk would not fly again. After 6 months of care and exercise in the flight cage, it became clear that the bird could be released.
The male red-shouldered hawk was brought back to where it had been found. When staff walked to the end of the parking lot to release the hawk in a shaded area, a female red-shouldered hawk announced her presence in a tree about 30 feet away.
How did she know her mate was coming home today?
Staff opened the small box sheltering the male hawk and he lighted on a nearby branch and then flew effortlessly across the open field to a tree on the other side. And as if on cue, the female lifted from her perch to follow her mate to the other side of the field.
At that moment, everyone looked at each other and knew that this day was why staff and volunteers at Piedmont Wildlife Center work so hard every day to treat, care for and protect the wildlife that share our backyard, workplace and open space.