Pair of Red-tail hawks rescued in Alice after strong thunderstorms

Melissa Cantu Trevino
Alice Echo News Journal

The aftermath of a strong thunderstorm on Monday night had neighbors at the Forest Creek Subdivision in Alice cleaning up tree branches that had fallen throughout the neighborhood. 

During the cleanup process on Tuesday, May 18, neighbors rescued a pair of juvenile Red-tail hawks.

Alicians rescued a pair of juvenile Red-Tail Hawks after storm in the Forest Creek Subdivision of Alice.

"We knew about the nest. We had seen it in the latter part of March and April. We had been seeing them grow," said Sandra Guzman-Ruiz. "We were cleaning up the debris from the strong winds storm. The tree branch where the nest was had fallen in the storm. The (juvenile) hawks looked shocked and in distress. One was alert and the other looked like it was in shock. So we called the game warden who referred us to the Texas State Aquarium Wildlife Center."

Russel Gruber helped with the rescue of two juvenile Red-Tail Hawks. The hawks' nest was in a branch that fell during the Monday night storms.

Guzman-Ruiz received instructions from an employee at the Texas State Aquarium Wildlife Center and answered Guzman-Ruiz's questions about the hawks. 

"We weren't sure if they were injured since they weren't moving," she said. "The nice lady coached us on how to capture the hawks for transport. She told us that they couldn't come all the way to Alice, but that they would meet us in Robstown."

Alicians rescue juvenile Red-Tail Hawks after storm.

Neighbor Russel Gruber put on some gloves and with the Wildlife Center employee's instructions retrieved the hawks and placed them in a kennel.

While the hawks were being rescued, Guzman-Ruiz called for assistance to transport the feathered friends. 

"I called (Cynthia Carrasco), our newly elected mayor to see if the animal control officers could transport the hawks for us since we were still cleaning up the debris. (Cynthia) showed up to see what had happened," Guzman-Ruiz said. "When Russel got them in the kennel and in back of my vehicle, I decided I'd take them myself."

Guzman-Ruiz traveled to a business in Robstown to meet Jaime Pena, Wildlife Care Manager at the Texas State Aquarium. Pena told her that he would give her an update about the pair of hawks as soon as he could.

Pena called Guzman-Ruiz on Wednesday morning with an update about the birds. 

"They are both doing well. They will stay two to three weeks to make sure they could fly and eat before they would be released," Guzman-Ruiz said. "It had a good ending. They made it. They're beautiful hawks."

She said they have seen the mother hawk circling the neighborhood.

Pena reassured her that the juvenile hawks would be released into an area where Red-tail hawks thrived. 

"We did our part. We couldn't just leave them there. One would've died," Guzman-Ruiz said.  "They are beautiful animals and we did the right thing by them."