Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My third Swainson's

Thanks to Jessica Beecham, WGF and Greg Aldrich, Duke Energy, this beautiful little hawk was saved. He was found on a ranch near Riverton, unable to fly, or unwilling to do so. Because Greg was coming to Cody from Glenrock, he agreed to meet Jessica in Shoshoni and carry the bird the rest of the distance.

This is a dark marked Swainson's Hawk. He only weighs 24 ounces and altho thin isn't starving. He believes he is, scarfs up anything handed to him. At this time of year they are usually well on their 12,000 mile migration to Argentina. He waited too long but I don't think it was his idea.

The really strange thing about this hawk is that the first three primary feathers on each wing have been trimmed off about 3-4 inches from their tips. And his beak has been coped (the tip filed off). The beak trimming is usually done by falconers or rehabbers when the tip gets too long. There is no reason to clip those six feathers.

He even exhibits imprint behaviour which means someone had him illegally and then either lost him or turned him loose. There are no bands on the bird and because of his probable young age, he has no hunting skills either. A mystery that I hope is solved in the near future.

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