SANIBEL, Fla. — The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is rehabilitating a red-tailed hawk struck by a vehicle.
CROW says the red-tailed hawk is recovering after being struck by a vehicle driven by a Dracut, Massachusetts couple traveling on I-95 through Virginia on their way to their winter home in Cape Coral, Florida.
"We heard a loud thud out of nowhere," says Eileen Bellefeuille, who was in the vehicle with her husband Rudy when the hawk was struck. "We stopped shortly after and checked for damage, and we saw that the grill was broken but didn't see anything else."
It was not until they arrived at their destination on December 28, more than 24 hours later, that the hawk was discovered under the car's hood. It had crashed through the grill and became trapped in the space between the grill and the radiator.
The Cape Coral Police Department referred Bellefeuille to CROW for the care of the hawk. CROW staff directed her to take the hawk to a nearby partner veterinary location for transport by one of CROW's volunteers to the wildlife hospital located on Sanibel Island.
When the hawk arrived at the clinic, veterinarians examined it and took radiographs. They found it had suffered fractures to both its radius and ulna bones in its right-wing. Veterinarians provided the hawk with pain medication and wrapped the wing to limit movement. On December 30, the hawk underwent surgery in which pins were placed bones to keep the fractured bone pieces aligned.
"The hawk still has a long road ahead of it to a full recovery," says Barron. "The pins will remain in place for three to four weeks, followed by a week or two of cage rest. If all goes well to that point, the hawk will be moved to an outdoor flight enclosure to begin building back its flight muscles."