**Update** Thanks to Mlive for sharing this story with everyone 🙂

Photographer captures rescue of injured red-tailed hawk in photos, video

Injured Raptor Rescue

Here’s an embedded post from last night on my Facebook page explaining what had happened.

More PICTURES and a VIDEO are posted below

No sunset pictures for me tonight. I spent almost 4 hours photographing some Lake Michigan vacation rentals for a…

Posted by Joe Gee Photography on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A little frustrated

I had no idea how to capture an injured bird and had no idea on who to call. I was out in Montague with barely any cell phone service but I didn’t want to leave the guy alone. It was a good 30 minute drive home to get some supplies and another 30 minute drive to get back there and look for him in the dark. I found him around 7:00pm and the sun sets around 7:30pm. So I went home and thought about the poor guy all night.

A helping hand

I received a text message and some Facebook messages from Melanie Stevens who was down there looking for the injured raptor. I told her that I could meet her down there to show her the location and help capture the bird.

Operation: Find Injured Raptor

I got down there around 11:15am, met up with Melanie and we started walking through the woods looking for the bird. We searched a pretty large area because who knows how far he could have hobble away from the road. Some local construction company had moved in there equipment and I thought he might have left the area.

After searching for awhile, we found him up in a pine tree, about 5-6 feet up. He was unable to fly, so he must have jumped from limb to limb and tried to feel safe overnight. Coyotes are known to frequent the area.


The takedown

I had no idea how we were going to take him down from the tree. We broke and bent some branches out of the way to get closer to him. Melanie gave me a net to gently put over his head. After getting the stick and branches untangled from the net, I was able to lift him up and remove him from the tree. Melanie quickly put a towel over his head to calm him down.

Operation untangle – lol

His talon were very sharp and powerful. He grabbed onto Melanie’s gloves and would not let go. The netting, sticks, and leaves were still trapped around his talons… So while she kept the towel over the birds eyes, I gently started pulling up the talons to untangle them. He tried to wiggle his way out of the net 1-2 times for a brief second but most of the time, i think he understood that we were there to help him. He looked very stunned and wide eyed. I’m sure he was even a little terrified but we were gently with him 🙂


Caged and ready for transfer

After getting him untangled, we wrapped him on a towel and gently put him inside the cage and rolled him over to make him feel more comfortable. Melanie actually had to leave her gloves in there because he wouldn’t release his hold on her. He was very powerful. I took a few more pictures, said goodbye to him and I hope he knows that we were helping him get better. I’d like to say thank you once again to Melanie for caring and bringing the necessary tools to give this bird the help it deserves 🙂


Injured Raptor Rescue Video

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