On the Conservancy’s Betts tract preserve, there is a residence rented to the Widdowsons. Both are world-class biologists and do an amazing job of spotting valuable wildlife biology events and activities at the preserve. Recently, they found an injured Cooper’s Hawk. They reported it as follows in an email:
Yesterday we found our resident Cooper’s Hawk flopping across the lawn at dusk with a damaged wing, so we…took her to the California Raptor Center at UC Davis this morning. Wing is not broken, but there was some swelling at the elbow. They will keep her on “cage rest” for a few days, then they’ll contact us. Apart from the wing injury, she’s in great shape. They assured us that we could re-release the bird in the area when she recovers. We believe this is the same young female we’ve had here since about August (the one that nailed the neighbour’s chicken). Earlier yesterday afternoon we had seen her hunting around the house, so she had just got injured when we found her.
So now, after a long recuperation, we learn the hawk is back in good form with the following email update:
We got a call Friday that the Cooper’s Hawk we took to the Davis Raptor Center in December was fully recovered, so we picked her up on Saturday morning & released her behind Casa de Pedro. She flew off strongly to a nearby tree, readjusted her feathers for a few minutes, then took off north across the field, scattering blackbirds in every direction. We watched her for a while perched at the back of the field, checking out her old ‘patch’. She now carries an aluminum band on the right leg, so we can all look out for her. Then yesterday we saw a large female Cooper’s Hawk out on the marsh, but could not get close enough to check for a band. Interestingly, there’s also a small adult male Cooper’s Hawk foraging on the marsh.
These relationships and the fact that the Cooper’s Hawk was on Conservancy land in the first place are huge rewards. There is almost poetry hanging over all this. It just is so sweet.