- Bob Falcone
On September 3rd, two red-tailed hawks that had been found orphaned and malnourished were returned to the wild at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. The two hawks, one found on Ft. Carson, the other near Sky Sox Stadium in Colorado Springs, were rehabilitated at the Nature and Raptor Center in Pueblo, and joined other rehabilitated raptors in an educational presentation before the hawks' release.
According to Nature and Raptor Center's Diane Miller, it's not uncommon for people to find abandoned or injured raptors. When a raptor is found, the center is notified by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the person who found it or by law enforcement, and makes arrangements to get the bird transported as quickly as possible. In some cases the birds see a veterinarian before reaching the rehabilitation center.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has volunteer wildlife transporters who respond to calls. "These are folks who are trained to go out on rescues, pick up injured animals and transport them to a wildlife rehabilitation center," Miller says.
Miller says people who find an injured raptor should not try to handle it, but keep an eye on it while rescuers are on the way. "Sometimes we'll ask them to put a milk crate or laundry basket over it to keep it in place until we get there," Miller says.
If you find an injured or possibly abandoned bird — or other wildlife — contact CPW directly. In Colorado Springs call 227-5200. The Nature and Raptor Center — birds only — is reachable at 719/549-2327. And the Animal Help Now web app can use your GPS to identify the nearest animal agency.
Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for 25 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: email@example.com.