Alabama Wildlife Center helps hawk

Published 11:46 am Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dear Editor,

My husband, David, came running into the house, out of breath, telling me to come with him. We got into the car and drove down the hill. We stopped in front of Timberline’s Clubhouse and there in the grass was a huge bird. It just looked at us. David said it had been sitting there for at least an hour.

As we got closer we saw that the big bird was hurt and could only hop. We knew he had to be moved from the entrance of the golf course. We drove back up the hill and David ran in to call the Alabama Wildlife Center.

He spoke to a volunteer who gave him directions on handling the bird. David grabbed his hunting gloves and I grabbed my gardening gloves and armed myself with two sheets, a cardboard box, two bungee cords and my camera.

As we approached the bird again, we could tell it was afraid of us. He started backing up into the bushes and then our neighbor pulled up to the curb.

Quick as a flash our neighbor threw a blanket over the bird and picked it up and placed it gently in the cardboard box. The bird did not resist. Then my husband placed the box in the car and we headed to the Alabama Wildlife Center.

When we arrived, we realized this was the place where birds are rehabilitated and returned to the wild.

We found that the Center operated almost entirely through voluntary efforts by people who are like-minded when it comes to Alabama’s injured and orphaned native birds. This magical place is free to visitors.

The volunteer took the box containing the bird from us and disappeared for a few minutes. When she returned she told us that the bird was a red-tailed hawk, an adult male who was very thin.

She could not tell us anything about his condition before a full exam but told us how we could check on him. She said once he is able to live in the wild again they would release him there in the park or back into our beautiful wooded areas at Timberline.

Wanda J. Harper