Burns the Red-tailed Hawk

PULLMAN, Wash - A red-tailed hawk brought to Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine has made a full recovery and was successfully released just outside the Moscow, Idaho, city limits.

The hawk has been nicknamed "Burns" after the woman who found the bird and called the Raptor Rehabilitation Center at WSU. Burns injuries weren't easy to identify. She didn't have any broken bones, but was extremely dehydrated and malnourished.

WSU veterinarians believe she may have suffered injuries without breaking any bones. After spending two months with a steady diet, and good exercise in WSU's newest raptor rehabilitation flight muse, Burns was ready for release.

Hesitating a moment in her temporary cage, Burns took to the skies over Moscow, stopping briefly to rest in a nearby tree.

"She should have a territory here," said Dr. Nickol Finch, who heads up the Raptor Rehabilitation Program at WSU. "She was found very close by. We were able to get her out quick enough, hopefully no other hawks will have moved in."

Burns the red-tailed hawk The property Burns now calls home is part of a restoration project involving the Avista Corporation that donated the time and materials for raptor poles. Avista was also a key supporter in helping build the new raptor center at WSU.

"Anything we can do to get animals back into the wild is a plus, a big plus," said Terry Gray with the Palouse Audubon society who was on hand for the release. "WSU does such a great job with these animals that can be returned to the wild."

You can support raptor rehabilitation at WSU through the college's "Adopt-a-Raptor" program. The money raised goes for the care and feeding of raptors that have been injured and cannot be released.

Burns the red-tailed hawk

Release date: October 2009

Washington State University