December Accipiter Releases

In early December, we released an American Goshawk, which had collided with a window here in Jackson, WY, back to the wild. Notably, this release signifies the first time in six years that an American Goshawk has returned to the wild from the Teton Raptor Center (TRC). Goshawks, along with their fellow Accipiters, are skilled forest-dwelling raptors known for hunting birds, with a preference for smaller prey like songbirds. However, they’ve been observed successfully capturing prey comparable in size to themselves. Featuring short wings and a long tail serving as a rudder, Accipiters showcase exceptional maneuverability in trees, effortlessly darting, weaving, and avoiding obstacles—a testament to their superb aerial prowess!

In September, a Cooper’s Hawk faced adversity when a window strike led to a fractured scapula. Through meticulous care and healing, the bird emerged resilient. As the time for flight conditioning approached, our innovative staff orchestrated a unique “obstacle course” within the bird’s flight enclosure, adorned with long, wide fabric strips suspended from the ceiling, simulating a habitat with “tree trunks” for the hawk to navigate between. Mastering this makeshift forest challenge, the bird was released back into the wild during the third week of December. We plan to use this enclosure design for all Accipiter patients to mimic a natural habitat during their flight conditioning evaluation. You can check out the obstacle course in action in this week’s Patient Update.

Support raptor conservation by preventing window strikes. Click below to learn more.

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