May 4th, 2010
I didn’t have any guests last night at Roundstone Farm, so I was able to be at Wildcare when the hospital opened at 9:00 a.m. to pick-up the young hawk that I had taken into them yesterday. Turned out that it was probably just shook up and had no apparent injuries. I waited only a few minutes until the staff brought the hawk to me in a card board carrier. The young lady gave me instrutions as to how to transport it and precautioned me about not being directly over the carrier when I released it. I released the hawk immediately upon arriving at Roundstone Farm. I figured it had enough excitement to last it a life time. I must say though, I really wanted to hold it and spend some time checking it out. I tell you one thing, the girl at Wildcare was right…one didn’t want to be looking into that carrier when opening the top. Man, that hawk was out of there in a flash! It was out of sight before I could even raise my camera for a picture. But, I at least got a couple photos of it while it was in the carrier. It’s nice to know that I probably will run into it again. I’ll look at every red-shouldered from now on wondering if it is the one I took to San Rafael and back.
May 3rd, 2010
As I was pulling out of the driveway this morning heading down to do breakfast at Roundstone Farm, I saw a young Red Shouldered hawk standing on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. A pick-up truck had just missed it. I stopped the FJ and jumped out to try to wave off any cars coming up the hill. Luckily, there were few that early in the morning. The hawk was just standing there, it didn’t appear like it had been hit, but it didn’t make any attempt to get away from me as I came up to it. I knew it would get hit if I didn’t do something, for the neighborhood crows were already gathering for a kill. So, I took my jacket off and threw it over the hawk. I then grabbed the whole bundle, hawk and jacket. The hawk was surprisingly light and it didn’t put up much of a scuffle. Still I remembered a similar encounter I had with a Great Horned owl a couple of years ago. Similar situation, for it too was standing on the road, but in that case it had been hit and had lost an eye. I threw a jacket on that one too. But unlike the hawk, that owl’s talons went right through that jacket. I learned from that experience that you had to hold that baby pretty tight, there was no “nice owl, I just want to see what you look like.” I held on tight until I was able to put it into a dog carrier. Same thing this time with the hawk, however, at least this hawk didn’t smell like skunk, which was a major prey for the owl. After breakfast I went up to the house to see how the hawk was doing. Seemed to be ok, so I put a pair of welding gloves on and reached in to grab it for a better look. Man, what a set of talons. It puffed its feathers up till it looked twice its size. I thought about letting it loose to see if it could fly, but thought better of it, because if it couldn’t fly and it got away from me, the crows and scrub jays would have killed it for sure. So, like the owl, I took it to Wildcare Animal Hospital in San Rafael. After about 20 minutes and donating $100, I left with the dog carrier, for the hawk was in good hands. The volunteer on duty gave me its patient number if I wanted to call back later to see how the hawk was doing. On the way home I did a couple of errands and stopped to get a latte. I parked in the shade and read for about 10 minutes. Forty-five minutes later I woke up and drove home. Actually, it was probably more like an hour and a half. (Isn’t life grand?) Anyway,when I got home, there was a message on the machine telling me that the hawk was ok and that I could pick it up the next day to bring it back to Olema. The caller noted that the hawk might be one of a pair that was taking care of a couple of young ones, so it was needed. Cool, I get to bring it home. Not like the last time with the owl, for they wouldn’t give it back to me to let go where I had found it. Wildcare kept that owl a little too long, I think. It died. Karen and I were bummed about that owl for years. We’ve been given a second chance with this one.