3 hawks with gunshot wounds sent to rehab center

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — A wildlife rehabilitation center near Pendleton says it has received three hawks with gunshot wounds, including a dead Cooper’s hawk from the Baker City, Oregon area.

The hawks were sent to Blue Mountain Wildlife last week, The East Oregonian reported.

State and federal laws protect raptors and other native birds that are not game fowl.

Lynn Tompkins, Blue Mountain Wildlife executive director, said the Cooper’s hawk had fractures and that a necropsy confirmed the hawk was shot — likely with nonlead ammunition, which does not fragment like lead.

A red-tailed hawk from Wapato, Washington, suffered multiple fractures. An X-ray revealed six shotgun pellets inside the bird, she said.

“When the accompanying damage in the right wrist, elbow and hip were considered,” according to a weekly update written by Tompkins, “euthanasia was the most humane option.”

X-rays of a red-tailed hawk from Eltopia, Washington, showed 14 pellets or pellet fragments inside the hawk, which is undergoing treatment for multiple fractures. The hawk also appears to be blind in one eye and may have suffered hearing damage. The raptor also shows signs of lead poisoning from eating prey that had been shot with lead ammunition, Tompkins said.

The hawk will need further evaluation to determine if it will be able to catch wild game again, Tompkins said.