Red-tailed Hawk Fledges Prematurely from Federal Courthouse Nest

The care center has taken in a Red-tailed Hawk that fledged prematurely from its nest on the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse in downtown Portland. A retired Portland police officer brought the young bird to Bird Alliance of Oregon early this morning after finding it on the ground along SW Salmon Street.

Red-tailed Hawk receives an exam - Photo by Tinsley Hunsdorfer

“It’s normal for young birds to spend time on the ground as they learn to fly, but this hawk may have fledged a little early,” said Deb Sheaffer, Bird Alliance of Oregon veterinarian. “We found a small amount of blood in the bird’s mouth, so we’re monitoring it closely now. The blood may be an indication of internal trauma from the bird’s fall.”

Sheaffer is conducting blood work and running x-rays to look for the source of the blood. If the results indicate that the bird is in good health, we’ll try to reunite the fledgling with its parents.

Bird Alliance of Oregon has a long-running relationship with the hawk’s family – its parents were featured on the KGW-Bird Alliance of Oregon Raptor Cam from 2007-2011. In 2012, the pair moved from a downtown fire escape to the Federal Courthouse, where they are raising at least two young this year.