Wolf Hollow holds permits from US Fish and Wildlife Service and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to keep a small number of un-releasable birds to take part in educational outreach programs. We currently have one resident bird.
Madrona – a female Red-tailed Hawk
Madrona arrived at Wolf Hollow in October 1998 after being hit by a truck on Highway 20 near Anacortes. She had a break close to the shoulder joint of her right wing. The break was too close to the joint to be surgically repaired, but our vet removed bone fragments to stabilize the injury and prevent further damage to tissue. Sadly, it healed with impaired mobility in the shoulder joint, so she could never fly well enough to hunt in the wild.
Her plumage told us that she was only a few months old so could be a candidate for our education program. In the first few days, she proved how suitable she would be by jumping out of her hospital kennel to land on a plate of meat and gobble it down – totally ignoring the person holding the dish!
Madrona has accompanied our Education Coordinator to give presentations about raptors, local wildlife, human impacts on wildlife and our work at Wolf Hollow. She has visited school classes, libraries, children’s summer camps and elder care facilities.
It is sad that this beautiful bird cannot be flying free, but as a “wildlife ambassador” she has inspired many people to appreciate the beauty of wild creatures living around them. Seeing a wild hawk close enough to appreciate its beautiful feathers, sharp talons and hooked beak inspires people’s awe and interest far more than any number of words or photos can. She also helps people realize how sad it is that beautiful wild creatures can be badly injured by our cars, fences, power lines etc. and be unable to return to their life of flying free.