On June 11, a member of the public contacted us because they were concerned about a young Red-tailed Hawk that was on the ground in their backyard. Their address was not far from our location here in Lynnwood, so Wildlife Admissions Specialist Cindy Kirkendall and Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Steve Johnson drove out to assess the situation.
Young hawks go through a developmental stage during which they are not yet able to fly, but they climb, hop and explore in the branches around their nest. During this “branching” stage it is not uncommon for the youngsters to fall and end up on the ground. If they are healthy and unhurt in the fall, they can simply be placed back in the tree. Unfortunately, this was not the case with the hawk Cindy and Dr. Steve drove out to assess.
Cindy and Dr. Steve examined the young bird and found that he was extremely thin and very weak. They brought him back to the wildlife center where we performed diagnostic blood work. We found that the hawk was anemic and suffering from a relatively heavy load of a common blood parasite. As of this writing the bird is still with us and responding well to care. He is expected to make a full recovery.