K.C. Bailey had noticed the red-tailed hawk circling above the bird feeder at her home on North Cartwright Road. And then looking out the window on Thursday, she saw the beautiful predator sitting on one of the posts of her fence.
When it hadn’t moved two hours later, Ms. Bailey knew something was wrong.
Approaching the bird, she was surprised it didn’t fly away, or even move, but just eyed her warily. She noticed that one wing didn’t look right. “She — I think it’s a she — was holding a talon to her chest,” Ms. Bailey said.
She phoned the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays and was advised to go even closer to the bird and call again.
“I got within five feet,” she said, but the bird still stayed roosting on the post.
The rescue center then said they would send someone. But as the winter afternoon waned, Ms. Bailey decided to take action.
“I got a big box from the attic and a towel and went out and chatted with her,” Ms. Bailey said with a laugh.
She wrapped the hawk in the towel and gently placed it in the box. “Just as I was putting it in the basement, Patrick showed up,” Ms. Bailey said, referring to Patrick Bastible, a Center resident and veteran of 15 years of wildlife rescues.
Mr. Bastible took the bird to the North Fork Animal Hospital in Southold Thursday evening.
Friday morning the hawk was X-rayed and was being diagnosed, a staffer at the hospital said, and was in stable condition.