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Marsan rescues trapped hawk

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Rachel Marsan
  • 157th Maintenance Group

June 18, 2018, Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H.

“I came in to work yesterday morning and noticed an adult red tailed hawk perched on our B-2 stand in the parking lot across from the AGE shop. I thought it was unusual but kept heading to the shop. I went to my locker room and my co-worker, MSgt Jesse Hardy, got my attention and told me there was a hawk caught in our B-7 stand. It's a smaller one near the B-2 stand.

He had called security forces but no one showed up. I tried calling NH Fish & Game but their dispatch doesn't open until 0700 or 0800. Once I got over to the stand, I saw that the yearling hawk was in real trouble. It got its head caught between two railings and couldn't free itself. It was pretty much hanging by its neck while trying to brace itself with its wings and feet but it didn't have much to grab.

Most of what was under it was a 5-foot drop to the ground. I knew at that point I didn't have much time because I could tell it had been there at least since Sunday afternoon. I contacted Newington PD to try to get a hold of any local fish and game and they gave me the number to the sheriff's department. I called them and they tried to get a hold of fish and game. I told them it was time sensitive but I didn't want to wait for a million phone calls between the different departments.

I grabbed my mechanic gloves and my gortex jacket and walked back to the hawk. I gently put my jacket around its wings and feet so that it wouldn't struggle and then I gently lifted his body while keeping my other hand under its chin and lifting there too. The hawk closed its beak gently on one of my gloved fingers but that was the extent of any indication that the hawk was upset at me being there.

The hawk never struggled against me, I think it was too exhausted. It never even made a sound. I walked back to my shop with the hawk in my jacket in my arms and the guys in my shop were calling around totry to find a place to bring it because it needed help. His neck was rubbed raw and had some scabbing from it struggling. I believe its wings were very sore and it was so tired. I held it for about 30 minutes, no peep or struggling, until we got a hold of Jane Kelly.

We put it in a box and I drove it to Epping. I have remained in contact with her. She gave it anti-inflammatory meds, subcutaneous fluids and a little sugar water. Last night she told me the hawk was standing on its own and alert. She said it was a 180-degree difference from yesterday morning. I checked in again and she said that the hawk was having trouble swallowing and seems to have some neurological issues. This could get better over the next few days, but it could get worse too. If the neurological issues don't improve, it won't be able to be released into the wild.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for its recovery and hopefully it will be released back into the wild. I don't want to disturb the bird or the process that Jane Kelly has, so I won't be bothering her too much. She did say that if the bird lives and can be released into the wild, plenty of people can be there.”