Carly 1, Hawk 0

Posted by Raz on Feb 8th, 2009
Feb 8

Wednesday in the late afternoon I took Carly out for a big loop around the park, because she was so energetic and rowdy. She took off on her usual path around the park and over the big eucalyptus, over our apartment complex toward the south part of the park. At that point she’s hidden by trees. But she never came out on the other side.

I looked until dark, all over the park and bordering homes. Somehow I knew this wasn’t a case of her going on an unplanned social visit. I did a couple searches after dark, but figured she would probably not call or fly out, wherever she was, until morning. Odd, I also didn’t put up any posters until the next morning when I set out before it was light, and then only a handful. It’s not just that she has been progressing well in our “super-generalizing” training; I just had a strong feeling she was up in a tree, and if so, she’d be back down to me in time. It was extremely odd that she would stay out past sunset without even a peep or a visit to people in the park; when she hangs out in trees she typically is very vocal.

Before dawn the next morning I started the search path. There was one section where I had a hunch she was, and I put that part of the route at the time when it’s just getting light, when the native birds start calling and flying. Several flocks of crows came flying out from their roosts. One of them had an odd call, and there was Carly in the lead of the flock. She flew down toward me but circled and landed in trees a couple times where she kept looking to one side. This is odd behavior for her, if she’s flying down towards me to not follow through. But she finally flew down and we headed in, eating lots of walnuts.

Inside she went directly to her sleeping perch where Piper was still snoozing, clucked at him and gave him a kiss, then settled in for some water and sleep. That’s when I noticed dried blood on her chest and foot.

I’ll never know what it was, but the vet said she had a foot/talon puncture, one about 1 cm deep and one very small one, with some bruising and swelling. The blood on the foot was from when she was hunched down on it overnight. He cleaned it out and gave her antibiotic and painkiller injections.

She’s doing fine now, it’s healing well, and she was back to her normal self the next morning.

But you should see the hawk (she sez).