Hawkeye Habitat: Birds of Prey Rehabilitation
We not only work with Birds of Prey
but are also deeply committed to protecting and rehabilitating injured or orphaned birds. Every year we pick up birds needing care and/or local SPCAs and other animal control agencies send injured or orphaned Birds of Prey to us for medical treatment and rehabilitation. If emergency medical care is required we will transfer the bird to a suitable veterinarian clinic or the University of Guelph Small Animal Clinic in Southern Ontario.
Although the main rehabilitation center is the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, birds are often brought back to us before being released.
What to do when you find a bird or other wildlife?
Before picking up a wild animal or calling a rescue center, please Wait! Watch the bird or animal from a distance…are you sure it is injured or orphaned? With some species, it is quite normal for parents to leave their offspring alone for long periods of time.
Before rescuing any injured or orphaned wild animal it is critical to be sure the animal needs help. Watch the animal. Animals might seem hurt if they are not moving, or abandoned when they are alone. Yet usually they are behaving naturally and their ability to hide or stay still is a survival tactic. Many infant mammals are left on their own for extended periods of time while their parents are foraging for food. In many bird species the offspring outgrow their nest and their parents continue to raise them on the ground. It is perfectly normal for you to see an infant animal left alone. The best guardian for any young animal is its own parents.
Our goal is to heal and rehabilitate the birds in our care and release them back into their natural habitat. We are thrilled to report many successful Bird of Prey rehabilitations and would like to share some of their stories with you here:
RedTail Hawk Rescue (Body, Soul & Spirit Blog)
Paul is the plumber at our hospital. I knew him as the person who had a Smart car in the parking lot, but recently found that he also has a keen interest in the natural world around him.
On his way to work last week he noticed a young Red-tailed Hawk lying at the side of the expressway which runs through our twin cities. He thought it was dead but stopped, picked it up and continued on his way to work.
Deb* works at the reception desk but is more at home with her camera taking pictures of birds and wildlife. She is one of those people who brings her camera everywhere she goes just in case she has a great photo opportunity. The hawk was very docile and allowed Paul to handle it while Deb took these pictures. Sadly, I had already left work for the day.
The hawk was alive but sustained an injury to its right eye and had some bleeding from its beak. Apparently it was able to move both wings normally and had no other obvious external problems. Paul called the local Humane Society and they arranged to have the bird moved to Hawkeye, a regional bird control and rehabilitation facility. The plan was to return the hawk to the area where it had been found once it was well enough to be released.
On Friday Paul heard that the bird was recovering but today he came and told me that it had died from its injuries. We have many Red-tailed Hawks in our area and they are seen frequently in the city, often on light standards along busy roads. I drive the same expressway home and recognize the "golf course" hawk and the pair of "land fill" hawks who are seen in basically the same area each day. Large birds which hunt near traffic are at risk for injury from cars and trucks. This hawk must have had injuries more severe than were initially apparent.
Man made structures and machines inadvertently injure and kill many birds each year. But people like Paul, the staff at the Humane Society and Hawkeye do what they can to save unfortunate victims. Hawkeye claims that about 70% of the birds in their care survive. It is too bad that this hawk was not one of them.
Hawkeye releasing a screech owl back into the wild
He arrived at our center in the middle of winter, injured, frozen, and starving. Happily, he has made a full recovery and is ready to fly free once again. We released him on our property at 4pm Monday July 12, 2010
Healing the GTA’s injured wildlife
TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE August 12, 2009 5:26 a.m
There was no doubt the swallows sensed the danger, bursting into the air the moment the predator was released...
In the water below, a raft of ducks paddled swiftly in the other direction, making a slightly less frantic but still obvious retreat.
“If that was a larger owl one of those ducks would be history,” said Dan Frankian, after he released a five-inch grey screech owl at Humber Bay Park East.
Frankian is a falconer, and owner of Hawkeye Bird & Animal Control Inc. (www.hawkeye.ca). The company rehabilitates injured birds of prey and removes “pests” such as pigeons, geese, raccoons and skunks. They have locations in Oshawa and Halton Hills and serve the GTA.
Founded in 1987, Hawkeye rehabilitates anywhere between three to 30 birds every year. About 70 per cent of birds in their care survive, said Frankian.
Frankian expects the owl will migrate south for the winter, following local birds to the United States.
“It can figure out where it wants to go from here.”
On a Wing and a Prayer
Sheri Walker, a bylaw officer with the Kitchener/Waterloo Humane Society, releases a redtail hawk yesterday near Riverbend Drive as falconer Dan Frankian watches.
Walker rescued the hawk in December after it had been struck by a vehicle. She called Frankian, who nursed the bird back to health.
Birds Take Flight
Dan Frankian from Hawkeye releases a Cooper's hawk in Chinguacousy Park, close to its main food source, starlings and sparrows. Brought to the bird centre some weeks ago, the Cooper's hawk was suffering from a head injury and was nursed back to health.
The Hawkeye centre is contracted by the Region of Peel to keep seagulls away from dump sights and Canada geese from regional golf clubs using a variety of hawks. Every now and then, they receive an injured bird of prey and release it back to the wilds after nursing it back to health.
The above article appeared in the Brampton Guardian August 2002
A Bird in the Hand...
Most times, when four motherless young Kestrel falcons are found in a heating ductwork at an east end Scarborough warehouse scheduled for demolition, their chances of ever soaring above in the sky are next to nil.But thanks to services like Hawkeye Bird Control, birds in that situation do have a second chance, due to the efforts of company owner Dan Frankian.Located on Hwy 25, south of Acton, Frankian's company is in the business of offering a bird ambulance service to birds of prey that are injured, or, as in the case of the Kestrels, are unable to look after themselves, and need to be helped along until they can be released back to the wild.
Last week Frankian released the four young birds found in Scarborough, allowing them to return to the life Mother Nature intended for them."Those kestrels are probably two-and-a-half months old," said Frankian, "Since we brought them here, they've had to be taught how to hunt, and basically fend for themselves in the wild. Otherwise they'd have died."
Frankian works closely with animal control service all over the GTA. He says the business not only offers a bird ambulance service, but triage and long term rehabilitation to make sure they are in good shape before taking flight into the wild."If a bird comes in badly injured, like been hit by a car, or some other serious injury, I take them to the University of Guelph for medical attention. Depending on how serious the injury is, they will likely return to me to be rehabbed before release."Frankian added some birds can't be released if they are too badly injured, so they sometimes remain at the university for education purposes or at his facility.
When asked how one teaches a young Kestrel falcon to hunt, Frankian showed a long bird enclosure on the property, in which he places the young falcons.Using sparrows, he releases the birds into the enclosure with the falcons' working with then until their hunting instincts eventually take over. As they learn to pursue and attack their prey, they become proficient enough to be released. The Kestrel is a small falcon, growing only to a height of about ten inches, while weighing in at three to four ounces, so small birds like sparrows and swallows are its main staple diet. By the time they fly away, they can swoop down at deadly speed and hit their prey before they know it.
At any given time, Frankian has more than a dozen birds recuperating or undergoing rehab at his facility, before being released. Encompassing everything from huge owls and hawks, to the smaller falcons, he has even brought a huge bald eagle back from injury, giving the bird a second chance at survival.
Written By: Ted Brown "As appeared on the Front Page August 21, 2002 issue of the Independent & Free Press"
Hawkman ready to lend Fine Feathered Friends a Hand
Dan Frankian is a fan of the Mississauga raptors, and he's not a confused basketball supporter. Frankian has always had a fondness for raptors - as in birds of prey - not dinosaurs or basketball teams. In fact, Frankian likes birds so much that he not only has a business that involves them, but he spends a lot of his spare time in a voluntary business seeing that injured birds get nursed back to health.
On Friday, the 32-year-old Mississaugan released a year-old red-tailed hawk just behind St. John's Lithuanian Church on Stavebank Road. In mid-November, the bird was found by a City animal control officer near The Queensway and Stavebank. It was on its back and wasn't moving well. Animal control officers think it may have been hit by a vehicle. That's where Frankian came in.
For the past four years, he's been working with the local animal shelter to see that injured birds of prey get the quick medical attention they need. When an animal comes in, Frankian is called.He assesses the bird and, in most cases, gives it initial treatment and then drives it to the small animal clinic at the University of Guelph, which he says is probably the best of its kind on this side of the continent.
His role means that Frankian has to essentially be on call all the time and be ready to spring into action whenever an injured bird is brought in.
But, even though he receives no compensation for his efforts, he relishes the opportunity. "In the past, it would often be two or three days before a bird could be picked up," he says. "The birds were dying."
In his own business, Hawkeye Bird Control Inc., the falconer is hired by companies who are having trouble with birds. He uses his bird of prey to drive the troublesome birds off. Frankian seems taken aback by a question about why he does what he does."Because of a love of the birds," he says matter-of-factly."I give the birds a fighting chance. We do so much to destroy the environment that some of us have to put something back." His reward comes on days like Friday, when he saw the bird he nursed back to health by himself, fly with strong steady beats up into a nearby tree to start a renewed life in the wild.
The above article appeared in the Mississauga News, front cover page, Weekend Edition, on December 15th, 1996. Vol 32, No 61