Hawks may be birds that we’d leave alone if we can help it. However, this one in particular was in urgent need of being rescued. One red-tailed hawk was trapped in a picnic table that was overturned at Lakeside State Park in New York.
A park ranger noticed the hawk was stuck and angry. However, before he was able to rescue the bird, he told him to ‘stay cool’. The hawk managed to heed the woods of the ranger and was later rescued before flying off under his own power.
Vernon Fonda, the ranger on duty, said that he wasn’t sure how long the hawk was stuck here. He added that he appeared well-fed and was calm (but angry in the face) when discovered. A passerby noticed the hawk was stuck and alerted the rangers.
Fonda had arrived in about 10 minutes. He added that he wasn’t sure why the hawk didn’t choose a tree as its perch since the park had many. Fonda was shown on video handling the situation calmly and coolly.
Fonda said the hawk was watching him while the rescue was underway. The hawk did not feel threatened to the point where he would flail his wings or attack Fonda with his beak. Fonda credits his approach to the situation and showed no aggression, leading the stuck bird to at least trust him.
Fonda would cover the hawk with a shirt, making the latter feel more calm and comfortable. Upon examining the hawk, Fonda said that there were no clear signs of injuries such as broken wings or bones. However, he added that the hawk may have suffered from rash burns that may have developed while he was stuck on the table.
Fonda said that had the hawk suffered apparent injuries, he would have been sent to a facility that rehabilitates wild birds. Fonda stayed for another ten minutes to watch the hawk fly off before returning to his post. He said that while the rescue was an easy one, he has seen his share of challenging rescues.
One thing is for sure, the hawk may be grateful that someone like Vernon Fonda came along and rescued them from a scary ordeal. Like any other day in the park, Fonda was simply just doing his job preserving and protecting the wildlife that inhabits Lakeside State Park.