Harrier Hawk

Harrier Hawk

This is a sad story of a Harrier Hawk

And a harsh reminder of why we need to take any injured bird for veterinary attention as soon as possible.

A young man found this injured Harrier Hawk on a roadside in Whangarei.

With the best of intentions he decided to care for it himself. And brought it with him to Waiheke Island.

Four days later, when the Harrier wasn’t looking too good anymore he reached out for help.

It was too late.

I collected the Harrier and was shocked at the conditions it had been kept in. It received immediate veterinary attention from our Vet Bryan Gartrell.

The Harrier, had most probably been hit by a car during flight uplift. It had head trauma, nerve damage and its left wing and leg were dislocated. It was severely dehydrated and underweight.

The box it was kept in was too small and meant it couldn’t eat or drink.

Imagine having those injuries and being held in a cramped position where you could see the food and water but could not eat a bite or swallow a drop. Just look and yearn to relieve the increasing thirst.

It’s called torture; even though the torture was unintentional.

Many birds need to be able to stretch their head to full height to swallow.

If this Harrier had been taken to a vet for immediate attention it would have had a chance.

Sadly, due to the young man’s desire to keep this bird as his pet raptor, it lived its last four days in pain and distress.

After examination the vet euthanised the Harrier and ended its misery.

A poignant reminder to please take any injured bird you find to the local Vet Clinic or Native Bird Rescue as soon as possible. Give them a chance to fly free again.

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