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Type of bird: Juvenile goshawk (Accipiter gentilis).
When discovered: Aug. 13.
What happened: Three Juneau residents reported that a bird, which they presumed to be a hawk, was being chased by ravens in their yard. The residents delivered the bird to a JRC volunteer.
Injuries: Initial exam showed no injuries.
Care: Volunteers administered subcutaneous fluids, wrapped her tail to protect the feathers and found it necessary to force feed her. After a few days, the bird began to eat on her own. When put into a large outdoor enclosure, she immediately showed that she could fly to the high perches, which was a good sign.
Release: Being in captivity is extremely difficult for goshawks and the JRC's goal is always to release birds as soon as possible. The bird was released on Aug. 20 on Juneau's Montana Creek Road. Upon release, the bird flew away and perched in a clump of trees. She was observed for a brief time. When checked on later that day, she was still in the same spot. On Aug. 21, volunteers checked back and were glad to report she had moved on.
More about the goshawk: Birds such as these are considered a large forest raptor and occupy boreal and temperate forests throughout the holarctic, which refers to habitats found through the northern continents of the world. The partial migrant breeds from Alaska to Newfoundland and south. It is the largest of the three North American accipiters and is considered a powerful hunter capable of killing a variety of prey such as squirrels, hares, grouse and other birds. Their short, powerful wings allow rapid acceleration and their long tails provide quick maneuverability in trees. They seem to prefer mature forests and nest in either coniferous, deciduous, or mixed-pine forests, depending on availability. Revered as symbols of strength and for their courage and extreme aggression, goshawks can also be found throughout human history.*
* Citation: Squires, John R. and Richard T. Reynolds. 1997. Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Message phone for the Juneau Raptor Center, 586-8393; emergency pager, 790-5424; or for more information about the JRC, go online to juneauraptor center.org.