GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- The Skegemog Raptor Center released a red-tailed hawk into the wild on Sunday.
About 100 Michiganders gathered at the Grand Traverse Conservation District’s Boardman River Nature Center to witness the release of a rehabilitated hawk.
This red-tailed hawk was struck by a car last September.
“I was driving to TCAPS to drive my school bus in the afternoon and as I was coming down Barnes Road, there was some garbage on the side of the road, and the hawk must have been eating it and flew right into my grill,” Mary Kandel said.
It wasn’t until about a mile down the road when she realized the hawk was stuck.
“His head was stuck in the grill. So, there were four other people who stopped, one of my colleagues and a couple other people and between the four of us we were able to get the hawk out of the grill, wrap him in a blanket,” Mary said.
And Mary is not the only person this has happened to.
“Vehicle collisions are one of the main causes, so we always try and encourage people to be aware of your surroundings,” Skegemog Raptor Center Executive Director James Manley said. “Leave that magic screen alone while you're driving. And if you see a large bird, slow down.”
In fact, last year about 90% of their patients were struck by a vehicle and here’s what you should do if this happens to you.
“We're trying to get the word out so people know that we can help injured raptors and there’s a place for them to come,” James said. “The Michigan DNR has on their website a list of all the wildlife rehabilitators in the state.”
It was a very special day for Mary to watch the hawk she saved fly home.
“I was nervous and just so happy that he was recovered and was able to be released back in the wild,” Mary said. “I'm just so excited and I know hopefully I'll get to see him when I come and drive my bus.”
There are a few more birds at the Skegemog Raptor Center that they hope to release back into the wild soon.