While walking to lunch today just after noon, we happened upon a strange sight: a seemingly injured hawk hopping around the Liz Waters lawn. The hawk seemed to be carrying a stick and trying to fly away, but he kept dropping back down to the ground.
We called campus police for help, and a dispatcher said they would contact Animal Control and send a couple of officers to examine the situation. We’re waiting to hear back from them.
When we walked back to our newsroom, around 1pm, the hawk was still on the lawn. It had moved closer to the sidewalk, but was still hopping around and looked like it was in distress.
The hawk could be a juvenile red tail, said Ben Zuckerberg, professor of forest and wildlife ecology at UW-Madison. It might be injured or sick, he said.
Update 7/20, 11am:
Campus police communications officer Marcia Manson told us today that police officers went to the hawk but couldn’t help it.
“It looked like the hawk’s foot was injured but it could still fly,” Manson said. “So we let the bird go on its own.”
“We couldn’t catch it — we didn’t have a choice,” she said.
On our way to class today, the hawk was gone. If you see it again, be sure to send us a tip.
A gallery of three more photos by Gwen Lambouths: