Red-tailed Hawk release, photo Karen McKenzie
We received an interesting call yesterday about a red-tailed hawk 'caught in a chicken tractor.' A 'chicken tractor' you ask? That was my question too, as before I go on a rescue I like to know what I can expect when I get to the animal.
As it turns out, a 'chicken tractor' is a moveable cage, shaped like an A-frame on wheels. There is a little door in which chickens can go in and out and the entire structure can be moved about easily.
I sometimes think of red-tailed hawks as big brown chickens, especially when I watch them walking about on the floors of their flights looking for food. They are so graceful in flight, but not so much on the ground...
When I got to the caller's house, they directed me to the 'tractor' and, sure enough, there was a big brown red-tailed chicken inside, quite puzzled as to why he had entered in the first place.
It was an easy rescue, since I had a net and controlled the door, and he did seem a little sheepish (more farm-yard analogies for this poor bird) when I lifted him out, but after assessing that there was no lasting damage, he was free to return to his mate, who watched disdainfully from a perch a distance away, as if to say, ' what trouble have you gotten into this time?'
An easy rescue with a happy ending with the bonus of learning something new!
Postscript When we get a call like this, we don't ask "will you donate if we come out to help?" As with so many of our rescues and animal admits recently, the people who need us are unable to make a donation, but we help anyway--something that is only possible because of the generosity and compassion of people like you.
Thank you for making a difference for wild creatures and the people who find them in need of help.