Red-tailed Hawk

In October 2010 two red-tailed hawks were brought to the wildlife hospital after apparently fighting over territory. During the fight, the birds hit a power line and both were electrocuted. Unfortunately one of the hawks died of its injuries before it reached our hospital. The other hawk, an immature, came in very bright and alert. All of its feathers on its left wing and on the left side of its tail were singed leaving only the feather shafts intact. The hawk also had a small wound on the center of its chest which staff suspected would grow larger, as this often occurs with electrocution injuries.

The wound eventually grew to cover the majority of its chest. Hospital staff kept the bird on pain medications and antibiotics while continuing to monitor its healing. It took three months for the wound to heal. Now staff had to wait and see if the hawk’s feathers would grow back. There was concern that the electricity could have damaged the feather follicles and the bird would be unable to grow new feathers. Finally, after spending over a year at the hospital, the hawk’s feathers started to grow and the hawk was released in early December 2011.

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