November 23, 2014


Nature center identifies species of rescued bird

Columbia Township resident Kelly Smick helped rescue a falcon in Elyria on Friday night. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Columbia Township resident Kelly Smick helped rescue a cooper’s hawk in Elyria on Friday night. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

BAY VILLAGE — Lake Erie Nature and Science Center on Wolfe Road have positively identified the injured bird that was rescued from an Elyria backyard Friday night.

The bird is a cooper’s hawk — one of the smallest known hawks, animal rescuer Kelly Smick said Saturday.

Smick took the injured bird to the center Saturday morning after she rescued it from the home of Joanne Gross of the 500 block of Willow Park Road, Elyria.

“They are very concerned about him,” Smick said. “His radius and ulna are broken in his right wing.”

Lake Erie Nature and Science Center Director of Wildlife Amy LeMonds said a cooper’s hawk is a common backyard bird, often seen zipping in and out of trees hunting for food.

While no one is certain how the small bird injured its wing, Smick said its wings were not clipped.

Aside from suffering a broken wing, the bird was also slightly underweight.

A typical male cooper’s hawk weighs a little less than 1 pound and the rescued bird weighs about .75 of a pounds.

“Males typically weigh less than females, so it is most likely a male,” LeMonds said Saturday.

LeMonds said the future of the hawk depends on how it recovers from its broken wing.

The first several days after a traumatic incident are crucial to wild animals.

“They don’t do well in captivity, but he seems to be doing OK and his wing is wrapped and he has eaten,” LeMonds said.

LeMonds said it is important for wild animals to stabilize and remain calm after an injury.

“He may die in captivity from the stress. It’s an uphill battle,” LeMonds said. “But, right now, he is in a covered cage in a quiet place.”

If he does survive and is able to fly, he will be released, LeMonds said.

Smick said she was glad she was able to help rescue the injured bird.

“They don’t do well in captivity, but he is safe and his feathers were OK,” Smick said. “He just literally fell out of the sky.”

Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7155 or

  • SweetScarlet

    This is awesome. The Lake Erie Science and Nature Center is a WONDERFUL organization, helping all wildlife in whatever way possible. We’ve taken bunnies, ferrets, turkey vultures, even chipmunks there. Their dedicated staff are the best. A great resource for us! Good luck little falcon!

  • Heath J

    It’s a bloody wild animal…

    That said, as long as my tax dollars aren’t paying for this, Good on them.

    • Zen Grouch

      “It’s a bloody wild animal…”

      …a bloody wild animal that eats cats and nasty little yapper dogs! :)

      • Heath J

        While I agree with the sentiment, Cooper’s hawks are teeny. Still, you oughta see the talons on one. Neat creature.

        • Zen Grouch

          In the late 60′s my buddy’s dad brought home a red tailed hawk. His story sounded fishy about where he got it, because it was tame and huge.

          Thing was smart enough to know exactly how far he could fly from his pirch with his tether and would sit motionless while the neighborhood cats would sneak up on it, thinking they were gonna eat bird tonight.

          Things got real when they entered the radius of death though.

          • Heath J

            I approve.

            That would’ve been youtube gold, had they had youtube then..