So there I am, driving down the highway at about 50 miles an hour (construction zone, so not speeding).
And there, on the side of the road, I see what appears to be a hawk flapping and trying to rise. It was only a glimpse, but when I looked back in the truck's mirror, I didn't see anything take off....
So I turned at the next safe spot and reversed course. Back a mile, and then turned again.
As I approached the spot, I pulled off the active lane and into the cones marking the construction zone, and parked the truck.
Yep, sure enough, a hawk, right at the edge of the pavement on the far side of the road....When I say the edge of the pavement, I mean the bird's tail feathers were ON the pavement.
I approached the hawk, and it didn't move. I could see it breathing heavily (panting) in the hot sun, but it didn't seem to have the energy to do more than eye me warily. (S)he looked stunned and kinda weak.
I called the local wildlife rehab agency, but they did not have the staff to come and pick it up. Shit. Oh well, time to improvise. Needs be when the devil dances and all that. Do nothing and the bird is gonna get hit by a car again, or maybe die on the side of the road.
So I looked in the back of the truck and found an old zippered hoodie, got out some thick leather work gloves, and walked across the one lane of traffic. Tossed the hoodie over the birds head, and scooped her up. Wrapped the sweatshirt around the bird, and back to the truck. She struggled a bit, but settled nicely. As MC was with me, I got her to open the door and we (me and the hawk) settled in the passenger seat as MC closed my door and she got in the driver's seat...and on the way to the wildlife rehab facility we went...with me holding the bird snugly on my lap.
She was mostly quiescent, but did get one foot down on my jeans-clad leg sharp talons, I tellya. Real sharp. and pretty strong too....no real damage, but my leg is gonna have a bruise..... part of the gig, I guess.
15 minutes later, we are at the wildlife rehab facility. They took the hawk and put her in a cage. She was somewhat disoriented, but aside from a limp, appeared to be relatively uninjured. We shall see how it goes. Live or die, I tried.
I think she (or he) got hit (or sideswiped) by a car. The bird was somewhat dehydrated and I think it had been there most of the day, maybe longer. 'Twas luck that I was it struggle, really.
Hopefully, they can get it back to health and release it.