Falcon rescue

Dear Editor: I wanted to set the record straight about your article in the Feb. 12 issue.

My name is Rita Frederick and I am the person who called the Downey Fire Department on Feb. 9 to rescue the hawk from my neighbor’s 90-ft. palm tree. I saw and heard the bird at the top of the tree on Friday, Feb. 6. Originally I thought it was making a nest and tending to its eggs. But after three days of continuously in the same position, I realized the bird was in distress and I called the Downey Fire Department on Monday, Feb. 9.

I was so pleased with their immediate response. Within 30 minutes, four firemen were knocking at my front door, ready to offer assistance. I pointed out that my neighbor was in the hospital and that I felt an obligation to call for a rescue.

They extended their ladder to 90 feet in the air. When I made the call, I said that I thought it was an eagle but it turned out to be a red-tailed hawk. The hawk had been in distress because it had escaped from its owner by way of a torn long rope which had dangled down from its feet and when it wound up at the top of the palm, the rope became tangled in one of the palm fronds so the hawk could not free itself for three days. Of course, if I had known that, I would have called the fire department on Friday rather than Monday. But thankfully I called on Monday.

SEAACA was summoned and they were going to take the hawk to their veterinarian to ensure its health and, if deemed healthy, it would be released to a wild animal rescue facility. SEAACA would not want to release the hawk back to the owner as your article suggested. All of the neighbors who witnessed the event were pleased to hear the hawk would not be released back to the owner. It is illegal to keep a bird of prey in captivity without a license and in this writer’s opinion, also cruel.

The hawk escaped because it wanted to be free. God gave birds wings so that they could fly. They are not meant to sit in a cage day and night only to be given food and water and talked to occasionally. Think how you would feel if someone caged you in a closet, gave you food and water and talked to you occasionally. You would be miserable beyond belief.

You have two legs. You were meant to walk. Birds have wings. They were meant to be free to fly around.

Rita Frederick




Published: Feb. 26, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 46