PORTLAND -- An alert Portland policeman spotted a raptor chick with an injured left leg outside a downtown Portland hair salon Tuesday morning.
Officer McCageor Cage Byrd (yes, his real name) was able to grab some towels and a box from a nearby hotel and take the young bird of prey to the Dove Lewis animal hospital. The bird was then taken to the Audubon Society.
Raw Video: Officer Byrd describes hawk rescue
The young red-tailed hawk likely fell from the nearby KGW Audubon Rator Cam, according to Audubon officials.
KGW Raptor Cam fans have been following the exploits of three chicks that hatched this spring. Just recently, they had been disappearing from the nest for short stretches as they learned to fly.
One of the three chicks did sustain a leg injury last week.
On his raptor blog, Bob Sallinger of the Audubon Society wrote recently about the dangers facing the young hawks learning to fly. He also wrote of a wounded one.
I did go up and watch the injured nestling through the blinds on Friday. One parent was there the entire time. Even the slightest movement behind their blinds drew their attention and I often found myself eyeball to eyeball with dad. The injured youngster is able to stand and use the leg. i did not see any swelling or injury. Based on what I could observe up close, we decided to leave her in the nest. We will monitor the fledging process and and see how things progress over the next week or so.
On his blog post, Sallinger answers key questions, including how the young hawks find their way back to the nest during flight training. They are very familiar with their surroundings, he wrote.
Sallinger was not available for comment Tuesday. But Audubon workers told KGWthat this was one instance when Portland police were right to help the hawk, since it was injured. Generally, adolescent wild animals should be left alone, they said, and their parents should be nearby.
The young hawk was expected to make a full recovery.