December 17, 2014

Elyria
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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 mlinebrink@chroniclet.com.