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BOUNTIFUL — A Cooper’s Hawk was relocated from the wild to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah after HawkWatch International officials found him injured in Bountiful Monday, according to HawkWatch International board of trustees member Michael Shaw.
When he was found, the juvenile bird was weak, malnourished and unable to fly, due to someone purposely cutting off 44 of his flight feathers with scissors and plucking his tail, according to HawkWatch International.
“HawkWatch International and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah staff believe that someone illegally captured the young bird and attempted to keep it as a pet,” HawkWatch International officials said in a statement. “Whether the bird managed to escape or was let go by its captors, it is now in serious condition and may not be able to be released back into the wild due to the injuries.”
The hawk, christened “Edward,” will be able to regrow his flight feathers eventually; however, they won’t regrow in time for him to make his migration to his wintering grounds. For now, he is being cared for by rescue staff and volunteers, according to HawkWatch International.
“Keeping wild birds is both illegal and potentially harmful to both humans and wildlife,” HawkWatch International officials said in a statement. “Migratory birds, including hawks, are protected by various state laws and under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibits harming, killing, capturing, disturbing, and possessing any part of migratory birds. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the act and protects over 800 species of birds in the United States.”
Those who have information about Edward or wish to report other wildlife crimes should call the Utah Division of Wildlife poaching hotline at 1-800-662-3337. Those wishing to donate to Edward and other injured wildlife’s care may visit the donate page at www.wrcnu.org.
DaLyn Marthaler, executive director of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, said Edward should be able to be released back in the wild as long as they can get his health back to where it needs to be.
Contributing: Dave Cawley