Helping our feathered friends: Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge

Sharp Shinned Hawk

By Chantal Theijn

To The Haldimand Press

JARVIS—On January 3, 2021 we received a call from Haldimand OPP in regard to a Sharp Shinned Hawk found unable to fly by one of their officers.

Due to the location the hawk was found, we suspect the animal was clipped by a car. The hawk is suffering from mild head trauma and we expect her to make a full recovery. When she is fully healed, she will be returned to the wild.

Sharp Shinned Hawks are small birds of prey, sometimes confused with their slightly larger cousins the Cooper’s Hawk. Sharp Shinned Hawks are common backyard visitors throughout North America. They prefer to hunt songbirds and backyard bird feeders are like a buffet for these guys.

As a result of their backyard hunting habits, they more often fall victim to window strikes than getting hit by a car. When they get focussed on the hunt they simply don’t see windows and suffer head trauma in various forms as a result of these window strikes.

If you encounter a bird dazed from a window strike, visually assess if both wings are nicely tucked in and not dangling, if the eyes are normal and not swollen, and if the bird can perch normally without losing his or her balance.

If the bird does not fly away immediately, contain it in a cardboard box and let it rest in a dark, quiet spot. In about an hour take the box outside and check to see if the bird is able to fly away. If the bird doesn’t fly away contact your local wildlife rehabilitator because medical intervention will be required.

If birds hitting your windows is a common occurrence you might want to consider adding a product such a feather-friendly tape or other deterrent type decals to your window to prevent future window strikes.

Chantal Theijn is a wildlife rehabilitator and founder of Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge in Jarvis. For more information, visit hobbitstee.com. If you believe there is an animal in need of assistance, contact Chantal at 519-587-2980.

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