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Recent rescue at the JRC: Edward

Posted: February 24, 2012 - 12:01am

NAME: Edward.

TYPE OF BIRD: Juvenile goshawk (Accipiter gentilis).

WHEN RESCUED: Oct. 16, 2011.

WHAT HAPPENED: A juvenile, male goshawk slammed into a large picture window at the Mendenhall Peninsula home of Vic Walker, a local veterinarian, and his wife, Sue. Since the incident, the couple have been treating the bird.

INJURIES: The bird suffered major head trauma and was very unresponsive when initially handled; their eight-year-old daughter, Sage, simply picked it up and brought it into the house - not typical goshawk behavior!

CARE: The bird was given subcutaneous fluids, hand-fed bits of quail meat and kept in a dark protective enclosure. Responding to treatment, he began to eat on his own and gradually became more alert and active. To keep the bird from damaging its wing and tail feathers, John Eiler, JRC volunteer falconer, fitted the bird with leather jesses, or soft leather "anklets". The goshawk was then moved to a small, sheltered, outdoor enclosure and tethered to a perch specially made for this type of raptor.

RELEASE: The bird will be evaluated to determine when it is ready for release and fitted with a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service numbered identification leg band.

UPDATE as of Dec. 16, 2011: Edward has been encouraged to fly from perch to perch and appears to be flying more strongly. A possible wing droop has not been regularly detected.

MORE ABOUT THE GOSHAWK: Although not often seen, goshawks are a regular year-round resident of the Juneau area. When hunting, the goshawk perches silently, waiting and watching for prey. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the raptor will switch perches after brief periods. Once spotted, the bird descends on prey rapidly, maneuvering through forest vegetation or willingly crashing through it.

•  Message phone for the Juneau Raptor Center, 586-8393; emergency pager, 790-5424; or for more information about the JRC, go online to juneauraptorcenter.org.

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