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"A bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the "chickenhawk," though it rarely preys on standard sized chickens. It breeds throughout most of North America, from western Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West Indies, and is one of the most common buteos in North America. Red-tailed Hawks can acclimate to all the biomes within its range. There are fourteen recognized subspecies, which vary in appearance and range. It is one of the largest members of the genus Buteo in North America, typically weighing from 690 to 1600 grams (1.5 to 3.5 pounds) and measuring 45–65 cm (18 to 26 in) in length, with a wingspan from 110 to 145 cm (43 to 57 in). The Red-tailed Hawk displays sexual dimorphism in size, with females averaging about 25% heavier than males." Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_...
These photos were taken back in 2006 after I had had major shoulder surgery. I was on my way to the doctors for a check up, when I spotted this large female in the middle of the road. I knew something was wrong when she didn't fly as I slowed down and went past her. I spun the truck around blocking both lanes of traffic on the country road and grabbed a towel from my gym bag. I was able to walk right up to her without any issue. I put the towel over her to keep her calm, and returned home after purchasing some Kevlar welding gloves. I had to figure out what was wrong with her, at the same time my partner was calling local officials to notify them that we had the hawk, and it was injured and that we needed to either find a vet, or a wildlife rehab professional. I was able to locate a large tear in the skin along the inside of the left wing, with substantial bruising. Using one hand to keep hold of the talons, and my free hand to pour peroxide on the wound, I was able to get it cleaned out, clipped away the damaged feathers, and using surgical sutures that I had obtained from a friend (I keep those in my hunting pack for those just in case moments) I was able to close the open wound. We were able to find a rehab in the area and took "Freedom" to her for safe keeping and professional monitoring. After six weeks of my visiting three days a week with mice and rats, "Freedom" was well on her way to a full recovery. We decided that she was ready to go when she was flying around the enclosure without any issues. These photos were taken of her after her release. Somehow and for some reason I almost think she imprinted on me. I released her, and she flew right back and landed on the ground in front of me. I snapped several photos of her with my point and shoot. I walked back and sat in the car until she finally flew off into the woods and away. This was one of the Greatest life experiences I could have had. She was an inspiration to me through out my recovery time after my surgery, when I couldn't do much but drive around, or sit in the house. My life has been greatly enriched by the time spent with "Freedom" and knowing that I was able to save her from what would have been certain death in the road way. Thanks all for reading.