Red-tailed Hawk “L4” Recovery Updates

Red-tailed Hawk chick L4 at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital

September 9, 2022

“L4” got a clean bill of health from raptor rehabilitation specialists at Finger Lakes Raptor Center and was released near campus on September 9, 2022 after a little over 5 weeks of care following her collision injury. Her first free flight was spectacular, and after perching on a utility pole for 20 minutes she flew off to a nearby copse of trees to re-orient and rest. Surprisingly, her sibling “L2” showed up at the release site as well, and was spotted by videographers following the release.

Special thanks to Finger Lakes Raptor Center for the successful rehabilitation of L4 following her injury, to the Janet L. Swenson Wildlife Hospital for L4’s primary care, and to the cams community for their continued support. Additional thanks to Karel and Bogette for providing excellent videography during the release and for the timely notes and observations on the young hawks from the BOG (birder-on-the-ground) community.

August 4 , 2022

We’ve received an update from the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital regarding Red-tailed Hawk fledgling L4. Further evaluation confirmed that the young hawk sustained an injury to the right wing at the carpus, or “wrist.” While the injury has caused significant bruising and swelling in the wing, no fractures have been detected. L4 will continue to receive treatment at the Wildlife Hospital for the time being, with the hope that the hawk will recover fully and be a candidate for release down the line.

Thanks to everyone in the community who reached out with concern for L4. We will plan to provide another update as we learn more in the coming weeks.

August 1, 2022

On the night of July 31, a young Red-tailed Hawk was found on the ground near Cornell University’s East Avenue near Klarman Hall. The bird was unable to fly, and it was quickly shuttled to the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital for treatment. The following morning, the fledgling was identified as L4 by local birders on the ground. 

Upon initial evaluation, L4 is doing well and seems alert, stable, and standing without issues. A further diagnosis is needed to determine if L4 suffered any injuries that will need further treatment or rehabilitation. We will be sure to update the community on L4’s condition as soon as we know more.

Throughout the history of the Cornell Hawks nest, the staff at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital has provided invaluable support and care for the fledglings. We are immensely grateful for their dedicated team for immediately attending to L4, and for continuing to support the recovery and rehabilitation of fledgling L3 after suffering a shoulder injury in late June. 

We’ll continue to post updates on this page as we learn more about L4’s condition.

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