Many longtime viewers of Raptor Cam have asked whatever became of K2, the trouble-prone 2010 Raptor Cam fledgling with a penchant for playing in traffic. Shortly after fledgling (taking its first flights) the young hawk was found on West Burnside playing dodge with oncoming cars. He was quickly captured by concerned citizens and transported to Audubon's Wildlife Care Center. Fortunately he had only suffered minor injuries and was released back to his parents a couple of days later. Before release, we placed an orange identification band on his leg with the characters K2--hence his odd moniker.
Unfortunately a week later he was again found on the road---this time at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge--and this time his injuries were much more serious. He had a swollen face and significant eye damage. After several months of treatment at the Audubon Care Center with special assistance from Dr. Susan Kirschner, a veterinary ophthalmologist, it was determined that he would remain permanently blind in one eye.
Sadly, due to his partial blindness, K2 was unable to be released back to the wild. In August 2010 he was transferred to OMSI’s Hancock Field Station, an outdoor science school near Fossil, where he is used in education programs for summer camps, Oregon’s Outdoor School program, and school programs to teach people about Birds-of-Prey (see www.omsi.edu/hancock).
According to Kyle Emry, an educator at the field station, K2 is doing great, and is a quick learner. Not only do the staff work with him daily, but Kyle reports they are learning a lot from K2: “He is teaching us so many amazing things and it is a great privilege to be able to work with him!” The station is closed in the winter, but several people live there during the off season so K2 is still handled daily. And Kyle points out that Outdoor School is just around the corner so soon K2 will be soon be educating Oregon's youth about the amazing wildlife that surrounds us!
K2 Perched after taking his first flights (By Bob Sallinger)
K2 Released back at nest after his first run-in with traffic (By Bob Sallinger)
K2 being treated at Audubon after his second collision with a car (By Bob Sallinger)
K2 today at the OMSI Field Station (by Kyle Emry)