Jun 25, 2011

Foster City: young Cooper's hawk re-nested

Once again, Patrick Hogan (wildlife rehabilitator by day - Wildlife Medic for WildRescue on his off-hours) engineered the re-nesting of a young raptor - this time, it took the help of the Foster City Fire Department!

A young Cooper's hawk was admitted to Peninsula Humane Society after being found grounded - healthy, just not old enough to fly. 

By late afternoon Patrick was out scouting for the nest, skulking around the family apartment complex, wearing all-black, peering into the trees with his binoculars (lucky he wasn't arrested). 

He caught a glimpse of one of the parents as it navigated through the canopy. The rounded tail confirmed it to be a Cooper's hawk. He also located the nest... very, very high up. Reaching it would require a very, very tall ladder.


Thankfully, the local Foster City Fire Department was more than happy to help when their scheduled cleared.

Raptors go through a stage of development where they can be referred to as 'branchers' - it's after they become restless in the nest and before they take their first flight - where they start to explore their treetop hop - hence the name.

This particular hawk was nearly a 'brancher', but not quite. According to colleague, friend, and re-nesting expert, Anne Miller, founder of Alabama Wildlife Center, we should try to get him as close to the nest as possible, if not in the nest.

Success, the little hawk was placed safely into its nest. Minutes after the fire crew left, Patrick witnessed one of the parents fly in and begin feeding its baby.


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