‘Fierce’ hawk had a broken wing. See its flight back into the Colorado wilderness

·2 min read

A hawk with a broken wing was rehabilitated and recently released back into the Colorado wilderness.

“No better way to celebrate a Friday than another wildlife rehab success story!” officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a May 5 post on Twitter. “Swooping into your timeline with a unique one today — a Northern Goshawk we released in Durango yesterday.”

Dan Gibbs, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, was also present for the hawk’s release.

“Northern Goshawks are known to be among the most fierce hawks,” officials said in the post. “Their short, broad wings and long rudderlike tail give it superior aerial agility. They primarily chase birds and small mammals such as squirrels for prey and are typically found in forests rather than open fields.”

Wildlife officer Luke Clancy captured the goshawk near the Perins Peak State Wildlife Area in Durango, about 335 miles southwest of Denver, earlier this year, officials said in the post.

The hawk had a broken wing, so Clancy took it to the Durango Animals Hospital that partners with the wildlife agency, and a doctor there determined it had a broken radius bone.

The ulna bone stabilized the fracture — almost like a cast on an arm — so the bone didn’t require pins, officials said. They took the hawk east to Frisco Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Del Norte.

There, it could rest and “regain strength through flight conditioning,” officials said.

The hawk was ready to fly back home Thursday, so Clancy picked it up and brought it back to Durango. A slow-motion video posted to Twitter shows the hawk step out onto the ground from its cage, hop and then launch into the air.

“It was a real treat to see how strong this goshawk flew back into the wild .... A couple of hops and it was back in the air to return to its home habitat,” officials said in the post. “We’ve said it 100 times and we’ll say it again, there’s nothing better than seeing an animal return to the wild.”

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