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Injured Hawk Rescue

Bird, found in Ellamore, recuperating

Submitted photos Jo Santiago, a natural resources specialist for the USDA Forest Service International Programs, works with an injured hawk found this month in the Ellamore area.

ELLAMORE — An injured hawk found in the Ellamore area is currently being nursed back to health and should be released back into the wild soon, officials said.

On Oct. 4, Sgt. Jeff Craig of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources was contacted by a concerned citizen saying a hawk had been found and couldn’t fly.

“Sgt. Craig contacted me and let me know he was on his way to get the bird and bring it over to me,” Jo Santiago, a natural resources specialist for the USDA Forest Service International Programs, told The Inter-Mountain.

“An hour later, the sergeant came up my driveway with the immature red-shouldered hawk and assisted me in conducting an initial examination. The hawk, alert and active, appeared to be n a healthy condition,” Santiago said. “I couldn’t see any signs of physical trauma or issues, but there could be any number of reasons why the bird couldn’t fly.”

Santiago called Dr. Jesse Fallon, raptor specialist and cofounder of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia in Morgantown, and told him the hawk was on the way to the ACCA with Migratory Raptor Program Assistant Dylan Lewis.

“After a full examination, including radiographs, Dr. Fallon determined that the hawk had a fractured coracoid — a bone directly involved in flight,” Santiago said “The good news was an expectation that the fracture would heal in about four weeks and the hawk would be able to be released back into the wild.”

Santiago said Craig has helped her rescue injured or ill birds for many years, “often going above and beyond to do so.”

The Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia and Santiago helped a vulture found in Jimtown in September that had been shot — in violation of federal and state laws. The bird was nursed back to health and released back into the wild.

The ACCA, a non-profit and partner of Forest Service International Programs, has rescued more than 560 birds this year. They can receive injured birds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For information, call 304-906-5438.

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