Omaha was found starving with injuries to his left wing in the winter of 2002 in Omaha, Nebraska. The hatch-year hawk was taken to Raptor Recovery in Omaha, where he was treated. He was sent to The Raptor Center via Northwest Airlines to be tested for West Nile virus, and while there, he was given a physical exam. An x-ray showed he had sustained a gunshot wound that fractured his left humerus. The bone had healed abnormally, causing him to lose proper mobility in that wing. This meant that the young hawk could never be released into the wild.


Casper’s story began when a hatch-year red-tailed hawk was found unable to fly in Itasca, Minnesota, in October 1992. He was brought to The Raptor Center clinic with respiratory difficulty, a broken right wing, and dislocated right shoulder. Bony buildup near the fracture site indicated an old fracture as well. He was put into rehabilitation for 32 weeks, where it became apparent his injuries caused permanent disability.


Unable to fly, Bailey was found in Goodhue County near Redwing, Minnesota, in mid-October 1990. A Department of Natural Resources officer brought the hatch-year red-tailed hawk into The Raptor Center. The young bird had been shot and presented with dehydration and a fractured right wing. Staff from The Raptor Center worked to set the wing bone in hopes she would fly again.


On July 5, 2007, a hatch-year red-tailed hawk was admitted into The Raptor Center with ocular (eye) lesions, emaciation, weakness, and depression. She had been found along county road 9 in Dodge County, Minnesota. The physical exam revealed that the lesions were very similar to those that present in West Nile virus cases. Subsequent exams agreed with this diagnosis.


Perhaps just weeks after she would have fledged, Darner was found in Austin, MN, in early July, 2009. She was first taken to the Hormel Nature Center, and then to The Raptor Center. She was dehydrated and had moderate weight loss, but the main trauma was soon clear – she was blind in her right eye due to unknown trauma. Darner does not vocalize, though the reason is unclear. The decision was made to have her join our winged ambassador team if she had the temperament that would fit.