FREMONT – A Cooper’s hawk found injured near a PG&E facility nearly a year ago was released back into the wild on Friday (Sept. 28) after months of rehabilitation.
Representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley and PG&E released the bird Friday afternoon at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Fremont.
The story begins in October 2011 when two PG&E electricians working at the Newark substation saw the injured bird alongside the facility’s fence. One of PG&E’s wildlife biologists arrive at the substation and found the hawk had come in contact with high-voltage equipment.
The bird was captured and taken to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley to begin its long rehabilitation. The bird’s primary wing feathers were singed and it had burns that extended along its chest, wings and tails. The recuperation process was slow, but the Center’s staff and volunteers provided consistent and vigilant care.
By July, the hawk had started molting his tail feathers and primary flight feathers. And, this month, all of his necessary flight feathers were in place and he began to hunt live prey in his enclosure.
That meant that he was able to return to nature. He was banded with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service metal tag.