CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cooper’s Hawk hit by a vehicle last week in the northwestern suburbs is a free bird again after a couple of days rehabbing.
Dawn Keller, owner of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, said a man found the 3- to 4-year-old female hawk in the middle of Route 83 near Rollins Road in Round Lake Beach on Thursday.
He stopped his pickup truck and took it to an animal hospital in Lake Villa, which called Flint Creek.
Keller said it appeared the bird suffered only a glancing blow from a passing vehicle. The bird-eating hawk did not suffer any fractures, she said.
“She just suffered some minor trauma to head and body, but looked, overall, pretty good,” she said. “Oftentimes when we get in birds of prey that have been hit by cars, they’ve sustained fractures, and are much more seriously injured than she was.”
After a couple of days of administering anti-inflammatories to prevent brain swelling, the hawk was healthy enough to be released Saturday, and “took off without a hitch.”
“The gentleman who picked it up and his son got to watch the release, and so that was fun for them,” Keller said.
Most times, injured Cooper’s Hawks brought to Flint Creek are juveniles. Keller said she figured this one was older, based on its eye color and size.
“Eye color in a Cooper’s Hawk changes from taupe to kind of a scarlet red, and as that progresses, it’s believed to progress over approximately 5 years,” she said.
Keller said Cooper’s Hawks once had a struggling population in the Chicago area, but have made a comeback.