November 02, 2007

Cooper's Hawk Rides Portland's Light Rail

I was finally able to work my way through the pile of mail on my table today and so found this cute story from the Portland Audubon newsletter.

coopershawkonmax.JPGIt seems that a first year Cooper's Hawk decided to take a lift on the MAX line.

On August 28th, Portland Audubon Urban Wildlife Specialist Karen Munday removed a hatch-year Cooper's Hawk that flew in through the open doors of a TriMet Light Rail Car that was awaiting servicing at TriMet's facility in Beaverton. The hawk landed on one of the overhead handrails and remained perched despite a clear sign directly to the bird's left that read "NOT IN SERVICE."

In fact, retrieving birds from strange locations is a far more common activity for the Wildlife Care Center than one might expect. Each year, the Care Center is called about dozens of birds that have become entrapped in odd locations. Most commonly, they are birds of prey that have chased small songbirds through the bay doors of warehouses and other large buildings. Once inside, the hawks fly toward the ceiling and seek an exit through the roof. In many cases they are too scared by the human activity or too discombobulated by the alien surroundings to find their way back out the way they came in. Their instinct is to go up - and the higher the building, the more difficult it is to get them to come down. Buildings with sealed skylights pose particular challenges as the birds are drawn upward by the light.

In fact, Audubon now recommends that warehouses have at least one retractable skylight so birds can escape if they are trapped inside.

This little guy spent some time at the Portland Audubon CareCenter recovering from injuries he got trying to find an escape through windows and he seems to be doing fine now.

Posted by Mary at November 2, 2007 12:11 AM | Birding | Technorati links |

a friend of mine was able to extricate a golden eagle who had flown into a barbed wire fence / an amazing feat to pull off with a full grown eagle / he was relatively uninjured and he actually seemed to cooperate with his rescuer / i hate seeing birds trapped

Posted by: Katherine Hunter at November 2, 2007 06:17 AM