It's Hawkwatch, 2008!
Explanation: We interrupt our mystery status week to bring you this exciting news update:
This morning as I looked out my window to see if it had rained last night, I saw this on my driveway:
Given the coloring, I thought it was my neighbors' cat, who often hunts on my property. I've never seen the cat resting like that, though. After looking a little closer, though, I realized that it wasn't the cat.
Yes, it's my hawk. I call it "my" hawk because I know it lives in the woods behind my house and I often see it hunting as I gaze longingly out the window during work. I love this hawk. It's majestic and glorious, and (perhaps more importantly) along with the neighbors' cat, it pretty much eliminates any rodent problem the woods might present.
It appears the hawk has an injured wing. As my wife backed her car down the driveway (thankfully on the non-hawk side) it rose to its feet and appears quite capable of walking, and perhaps thrashing neighborhood pets as well. It does not, however, appear capable of flying. I put some water out for it, which prompted it to waddle off in the other direction. It is now resting lazily under a tree in my front yard.
I have made numerous phone calls this morning and will continue making them until somebody actually answers. I'll keep you updated on this breaking news.
Oh, and for those of you who are concerned about my theme week, have no fear - it will continue tomorrow.
Update, 10:50am: After finding several people to contact for raptor rehabilitation, I figured I should make sure the bird was still around before I tried calling again. Apparently, my feathered friend wandered his way back into the woods, because he's nowhere to be seen outside. Oh well. I hope his wing gets better. So ends the excitement of Hawkwatch 2008. We thank everyone who called/emailed with their thoughts and prayers.
Update, 11:12am: Hawkwatch is back on, people!!! The hawk has been located, I repeat, the hawk has been located. I have left a message at one of the local rehabilitation places and hopefully they will call me while I still know where the bird is. For those of you who called/emailed with your thoughts and prayers, get back to work! Think and prey harder!
Update, 11:14am: I just realized that I used "prey" instead of "pray". See, I was thinking "bird of prey" when I typed it and I got all confused... yeah, that's it.
Update, 8:24am, Friday: Zippy (as I have named him) is lost. I last saw him wandering about the woods behind the house. Hopefully I'll see him again soon. Also, I should mention that Zippy is a fully grown red-tailed hawk. You can't see exactly how big he is in the photos above, but he's probably about 20 inches tall. So, even without wings, I think Zippy could take down a yippy neighborhood dog or two. Here's hoping...