Skip to main content

Updates on Injured Hawk “L3”

Injured young hawk “L3” recuperating at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital

June 9, 2023

After a slow start this Spring due to the colder weather, L3 is flying well and making progress. Assuming that her progress continues, the rehabber hopes to release her once the tail feathers finish growing in, sometime this summer. We’ll keep you posted on any other news as we learn of it—thanks for all of your thoughts & patience.

October 7, 2022

According to a recent update from the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital, Red-tailed Hawk fledgling L3’s progress during rehabilitation has plateaued, and it’s been determined that releasing the bird before the cold winter months would not be in its best interest. We’ve been advised that L3 will likely overwinter under the care of a wildlife rehabber. Longer-term rehabilitation is recommended to determine the source of some flight abnormalities present during L3’s recovery, and the hope is further rehab and diagnostics will help address these issues and make L3 a candidate for release come spring.

We’d like to thank the wildlife veterinarians and rehabbers working with L3 for their continued dedication to her recovery. We’d also like to thank the Cornell Hawks cam community for their patience, understanding, and support through L3’s recovery process.

July 28, 2022

The most recent update from the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital reports that L3’s shoulder injury continues to show excellent healing progress since the Red-tailed Hawk fledgling was brought in for treatment on a fractured coracoid bone on June 22. Her rehabilitation is now transitioning to several weeks of conditioning with the eventual goal of re-release back into the wild. We will continue to share updates on L3’s progress with the community as we learn more.

July 1, 2022

We received a brief update from the Wildlife Hospital today, reaffirming that L3 continues to do very well. The veterinarians will be performing additional radiographs in another 1-2 weeks to check up on the fractured coracoid bone, at which point they should be able to better predict a future timeline for continued healing and rehabilitation. They also shared that, based on body weight, L3 is likely a female. We will plan to post another update following the next set of radiographs — thanks for sharing all of your concerns about L3’s continued healing!

June 23, 2022

Early in the evening on June 22, 2022, a young injured hawk was discovered by researcher Jan Lammerding on the Cornell University campus near the Cornell Red-tailed Hawk Cam. After a couple of quick phone calls, a team assembled (including Cornell Hawks followers Amy Layton, Suzanne and William Horning; and Rolfe Radcliffe, a Cornell veterinarian) to assist with gently gathering the young hawk (later identified as “L3” from the Cornell Hawks cam) and transporting it to the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital for care and evaluation.

The initial report from the Wildlife Hospital this morning shared that the young hawk “is energetic and doing well.” Radiographs confirmed that there is a small fracture in the left shoulder, and the prognosis for a full recovery and future release is good. If all goes to plan, L3 will need to stay hospitalized for a while and then go to rehabilitation for flight testing before being a candidate for release.

Thanks to everyone who responded to bring young L3 to safety, and to the hardworking team of caregivers at the Wildlife Hospital. You can support the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital’s efforts by making a gift online.

We’ll continue to post updates on this page as we learn more about L3’s evolving condition.

Bird Cams is a free resource

providing a virtual window into the natural world
of birds and funded by donors like you

Pileated Woodpecker by Lin McGrew / Macaulay Library