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From Flightless to Unforgettable | Community Spirit

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From Flightless to Unforgettable
From Flightless to Unforgettable

Hawk Creek Wildlife Center of East Aurora is a safe haven for hundreds of orphaned and injured wildlife.  Our volunteer staff works tirelessly 365 days a year to accommodate the needs of every incoming animal patient.  Among all the patients receiving care, there is always one animal that stands out from the rest and exceeds our expectations.  One recent animal patient in particular was an injured Red-tailed Hawk. 

On November 30, 2011 the Center received a phone call regarding a Red-tailed Hawk found flightless at a Grand Island construction site.  Due to limited manpower and resources, Hawk Creek is typically unable to travel offsite to pick up animals and depends on the kindness of the public and volunteers to bring them in.  Fortunately for this particular hawk, one of Hawk Creek’s regular volunteers lived close by and was able to respond to the call.  Upon arrival, the small errand turned quickly to an adventure, as the law student dressed in a full suit and coat, found himself ankle deep in water retrieving the hawk.  After successfully arriving at center and getting the feathered patient situated, the Red-tailed Hawk was found to have a wing injury that left him unable to fly. As time passed it was uncertain if he would ever be able to fly again and be ready for release back into the wild.  For months the hawk continued to receive treatment and daily care. His wing slowly improved and it was decided in mid January that his flight abilities would be tested in a large flight enclosure.  The first day, to the staff’s dismay, the hawk spent his time on a rock instead of on the high perches in the enclosed area.  As more days passed, the patient made slow but steady progress and by the end of the week, he was on the perches and flying back and forth with relative ease and coordination.  On February 6th, it was determined that the hawk was ready for release. Watching the Red-tailed Hawk fly into the distant tree line was an amazing sight for all who participated.  Witnessing his long struggle with recovery and triumph against the odds made his release one of the most memorable events in the lives of the volunteers involved.  We wish the Red-tailed Hawk the best and will never forget his relentless spirit that pulled him through.  We also wish to thank every individual who has stepped forward to help an animal in need. Seeing any animal in distress is very difficult for anyone at the Center, but events like this one make everyone remember why we have dedicated our lives to caring for injured wildlife. 

Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, Inc. has been featured on Rachael Ray, Conan O’Brien, PBS, and was voted a Blue Planet Hero by National Geographic. Over 80 non-releasable animals from around the world call Hawk Creek home while hundreds more are rehabilitated at the Center each year. Founded in East Aurora in 1987, Hawk Creek is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing wildlife education, rehabilitation, and conservation services to the community.




Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, Inc. PO Box 662 | 655 Luther Rd East Aurora, NY 14051

Environmental Education - Wildlife Rehabilitation - Conservation

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