Flew the coop: Search for escaped desert hawk continues

July 21, 2021 GMT

QUECHEE, Vt. (AP) — Workers at a nature sanctuary in Vermont are searching for a desert hawk that escaped over a week ago.

The bird, named Paige, was born in captivity and was among a small number of birds that staff at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee train for public demonstrations, the Valley News reported.

The female Harris’s hawk is about 2 pounds (0.91 kilograms) and 18 inches (46 centimeters). She escaped on July 13 during a training session, the newspaper reported.

“We work with the birds daily. It’s tough times for the staff,” said Chris Collier, on-site programs director. “It’s exhausting, both emotionally and physically.”

The staff were following a signal from a tracking device on the bird, but it went dead a day after she flew away. This bird also escaped last summer for almost two days, though Collier said birds had escaped only a handful of times previously.


The nature nonprofit is also a sanctuary for injured birds in Vermont and served some 1,025 last year.

Harris’s hawks are native to the southwest and are unusually social predators, often living and hunting in small groups. The birds are not adapted to live in cold temperatures, Collier said.

“Hopefully, she’s right in the area,” said Collier. “We’re just hoping she comes back.”

Quechee is located about 11 miles (18 kilometers) west of Lebanon, New Hampshire.