Rehabilitated hawk released back to the wild near Swan Lake

Hawk released to the wild

Jon Manchester

A rehabilitated hawk was released back to the wild Friday by Swan Lake.

BX resident Lynn Watt says she found the juvenile Swainson's hawk July 15 on her late father's property overlooking the lake.

The young bird didn't seem to be moving and appeared to be injured as it hunkered down under some grape vines.

She and her son in law scooped up the bird, put it in a wooden box and gave it some chicken meat and water.

Checking with Bosley's pet food store, they learned of the Warren Peace animal sanctuary in Lake Country.

Volunteer Horst Hallen came and picked up the hawk, putting it in a travel cage so it could be flown to Vancouver and taken to the OWL Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta.

Once it was well enough to fend for itself and catch its own mice, the bird was flown back to Kelowna Airport, and Hallen returned it to the place it was found.

The now healthy bird of prey was released from its cage and immediately flapped its wings and took off for some nearby trees.

Hallen suspects the bird fell out of its nest and was unable to return. He says there's a strong chance it will reunite with its family, that's why birds are returned to the place they were found.

Watt was emotional to see the healthy animal.

She had placed some flowers and a heart-shaped sign saying 'welcome home my little hawk' by the vines where she originally found it.

"I'm so excited, it's kind of spiritual," she said.

Now the bird can spread its wings and fly free with her late father, she said.

The hawk will have good hunting grounds with the nearby lake and BX farm fields.

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