The SPCA for Monterey County released a rehabilitated red-tailed hawk from Santa Catalina School's campus on December 12.
The juvenile male hawk was found about a month earlier near downtown Monterey, apparently injured in a fight with another hawk. He had a deep puncture wound on one of his talons, "which doesn't seem like much, but it's a big injury for a bird of prey," said Marissa Jacky, an SPCA wildlife rehabilitation technician.
Santa Catalina was chosen as the release site because it offered a safe, open space within the preferred radius of where the bird was found.
Students, faculty, and staff gathered on the front lawn to watch as Sister Claire, the retired head of school, lifted the top off the hawk's carrier to set the raptor free. He took off right away, perching in a nearby tree as territorial crows cawed at him.
Beth Luttrell Brookhouser '92, the SPCA's director of community outreach, narrated the events for a Facebook Live video. "Sister Claire has been so supportive of the SPCA over the years, and of me personally as I grew up at Catalina," she said afterward. "Being able to do this on campus is special, but with Sister Claire it's also deeply meaningful." Sister Claire, too, was honored to take part. "I like to think the SPCA is to all of God's creatures as we are to all of God's creatures," she said.
For more information about the SPCA's wildlife program, including what to do if you find a wounded animal, see spcamc.org/wildlife.