Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cooper's Hawk Goes Shopping

A Cooper's hawk chased another bird into a local Home Depot and then could not find its way out.

The store's management opened all the doors hoping the hawk would fly out, but that didn't work.

"It wasn't bothering anybody, preferring to sit up on the rafters at the back of the building," said Bob Mairs, assistant store manager.

At night, the raptor repeatedly set off the store's alarms but it didn't do any damage, he said.

On Wednesday morning, Mairs called the Raptor Trust, a Millington-based nonprofit organization that runs a wildlife rehabilitation center for birds.

"It's amazing to see how quickly they responded," Mairs said. "Within an hour they had captured the bird."
Initially I thought that the hawk would be just as happy to have stayed and hunted the store's house sparrows, but the bird was hungry and dehydrated when it was captured. I guess the store's garden section must be sufficient to support a small prey population but not the predator. The Raptor Trust plans to release the hawk into the Great Swamp NWR after its rehabilitation.