This morning my rat terrier, who has a distinctive bark when he's found an animal, let me know there was something outside. He was standing in front of a very bedraggled looking bird: wet feathers, flat flies (found out later these are common bird parasites), sweat bees clinging to her. Got on the Internet and located a local raptor rescure/rehab organization. They told me how to capture the bird and came to pick her up less than an hour later (they were on another call).
This is a red-shouldered hawk who had been trapped and shot. She was walking (not very well) and the mockingbirds were swooping down on her in my field when I relocated her to capture her. The rescuers said the practice is to hang bait and a bear-like foot trap from a tall tree or pole, then shoot the bird when it arrives. They said the hawk's range is only about a mile, so someone quite near me is the culprit. I've alerted the neighbors I KNOW would not do this to watch out for injured birds. The rescuers said I will likely be contacted by a wildlife officer, since capturing, injuring, or even owning a raptor feather is illegal.
Sadly, even if the culprit is found, it is common practice especially amongst the old-time farmers in the area, supposedly to protect their chickens.
The organization is www.nc-claws.org
. Kudos to these knowledgeable folks who responded so promptly on a Sunday morning!
I've uploaded a couple of photos of her. Here she is: http://picasaweb.google.com/hjdunlap/InjuredRedShoulderedHawk072008
(the other 2 galleries are of my rattie and of the honeybee who STILL visits in the evenings, sometimes with a few of her friends)