This Saturday Shane and I attended to World War II weekend at the Eisenhower farm in Gettysburg (more from that later). On the way home while traveling the Williams Grove Road in Monroe Twp. Cumberland County we noticed a redtailed hawk standing alongside of the road looking very out of place (around 3:41 p.m.). About that time I noticed the Franklintown fire chief walking along side the road to check on the bird. After a quick check of is the bird injured I decided to pull over to see what I could go. As he began to make phone call we learned that the game commission had already been called but no estimate of arrival time was given. We both felt the hawk was either flying into pick up prey or had dropped his prey and was attempting to retrieve it when it was struck by an auto mobile. With in a few feet of the bird was a smashed rat on the road that was probably the meal in question. As we observed the bird most of the time he kept his eyes shut and appeared to be labored in his breathing occasionally loosing his balance when a larger auto drove by.
It was decided to try and help the bird in another way if we could, Shane began to look up places on the net while I called home to have Linda look up numbers for bird rescues or veterinarians. At the same time the local fire chief (sorry for not remembering your name) was making the phone calls to try and get some help. As it would be we constantly struck out. At about 4:30 another man stopped and said he had some knowledge and history with birds of prey. Up to this point we attempted to keep the bird safe from oncoming traffic but did not try and retrieve the bird because we did not have the proper hand protection. He retrieved his gloves and a towel from his truck and picked the bird up. It is not known just how long the hawk stood in the harsh afternoon sun close to traveling vehicles. The hawk gave up very little resistance when he was picked up and allowed the man to hold him with little to no movement. It was at that time that we realized that the side facing away from us had been struck and that the bird had suffered potentially severe injuries.
I did not take any closeup photographs while the man held the hawk. More and the conclusion tomorrow.