The red-tailed hawk that had been shot with a framing nail was returned to the wild on Wednesday. She had been in care at the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley for about 10 days, undergoing treatment for her wound.
The bird was returned to her home grounds at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens where she was captured on October 22. WildRescue's Director recounts the release:
It was an incredible release event - it could not have gone any better, and there are many people to thank for this. The Botanical Garden staff were wonderful. The Director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory went out of his way to be on hand to ring the bird with a federal identifying marker - a metal leg band. Her band number is 1957-02561.
We were also really honored to have Lieutenant Brown from the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control join us - his agency is continuing the investigation into the crime. We were also very pleased to have Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, who joined Lt. Brown in setting the hawk free.
After the door was opened, she hesitated a bit before taking off, landing in a tree just above a group of school chldren. She stayed in the tree for almost 20 minutes, much to the delight of the visitors and media.
While her behavior - her seeming indifference towards humans, might otherwise be cause for concern, this particular, individual bird seems to have adjusted to living around humans. This is just the way she is. Let's hope her acceptance of humans does not get her into more trouble.
We would like to keep track of her. Please feel free to report confirmed sightings to rescue (at) wildrescue (dot) org.