Red-tailed hawk ... but not THE red-tailed hawk.
Red-tailed hawk ... but not THE red-tailed hawk.

Anyone Missing a Red-Tailed Hawk?

With all the media tales chronicling the disconnect between the public sector, the private sector and regular old folks, it's refreshing to see the three came together beautifully when it came to rescuing a red-tailed hawk stuck atop a utility pole in Irvine.

According to the account of Lt. John Hare of the Irvine Police Department:

Someone noticed a hawk was somehow caught on the pole near the baseball fields at Irvine Valley College on Thursday. The poor bird was flapping its wings to try to free itself.

Around 5:30 p.m., Animal Services personnel at the Irvine Police Department were summoned. Animal Services contacted Southern California Edison, and police officers and utility workers arrived at the college.

The Edison workers deployed a mechanical basket crane so Animal Services and power company personnel could get to the top of the 70-foot-tall pole. The hawk was wearing leather anklets whose straps were wrapped around the pole, restricting the bird's movement and essentially leaving it tethered. 

After an Animal Services worker untangled the raptor, it was determined to be a male red-tailed hawk estimated to be just under a year old. The anklet suggested the bird had been raised in captivity, perhaps used for falconry or hawking, a sport where birds of prey are trained to hunt game for humans.

Besides visible injuries on its legs, likely from trying to free itself from the pole, the hawk was hungry and dehydrated. It was taken to Serrano Animal and Bird Hospital in Lake Forest.

The hunt is now on for the hawk's owner. Anyone with information is asked to call Animal Services Supervisor Kim Cherney at (949) 724-7091.


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