HICKORY, NC (WJZY) - The Carolina Raptor Center released a rehabbed red-tail hawk back into the wild at Oakwood Cemetery on Friday, April 8 at 5 p.m.
The injured hawk, now known as “Hope,” was caught in January by Hickory Cemetery Sexton, Dave Dauler. He was notified of the hawk’s presence by a groundskeeper and called the Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville, NC.
The center said they were willing to rehab the hawk if Dauler was able to capture it.
Dauler managed to safely secure the hawk, using only a pair of gloves and a towel. He transported the hawk to Lincolnton, NC where Carolina Raptor Center staff were waiting to meet him and take the hawk back to their facility for medical treatment and recovery.
Oakwood Cemetery is located at 504 4th St. NW in Hickory and is a 27 acre parcel of land that the City of Hickory purchased in 1889, which contains large canopy trees of various species that provide food and shelter for wildlife in our urban environment.
With the open areas and mature oak, hickory, and other large growing species of trees, the land provides habitat for small mammals such as raccoon, opossum, mice, chipmunks, rabbits, gray squirrel, as well as many species of songbirds.
The large open areas and mature trees provide excellent sites to perch while hunting for food, and Oakwood has become a hunting ground to red-tailed hawks.
These large hawks can be seen sitting in the trees around the cemetery as well as hunting for food.
Now, thanks to the Carolina Raptor Center and nearly three months of rehab, “Hope” is ready to fly back into her natural habitat!