Bird released by Clermont resident Cindy Davis (picture by Laurie Windham)

At the end of May, residents Cindy and Chris Davis discovered an emaciated and weak  Red-Tailed Hawk near the Clermont Historic Village. The young hawk, clearly was in need of help. Without hesitation, Cindy and Chris decided to take the hawk to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, hoping the experts there could save its life. Cindy described the bird as possibly a young fledgling just out of its nest.  

The Audubon Center staff provided immediate medical attention and care.  Cindy said they gave the bird a blood transfusion and discovered he had an infection. Cindy said that she was informed that only 33% of the birds recover and are released back into the wild.  Many have to be euthanized. This hawk was lucky! It was in the ICU for weeks and finally improved, at which time, he was moved to the flight barn, allowing him to regain his strength.

The days turned into weeks, and slowly but surely, the bird showed remarkable improvement. The staff at the center knew that when the time came, it was important to release the rehabilitated bird of prey back where it had been found. 

Finally, the day came when the hawk was ready to return to the wild. The Center reached out to Cindy, asking if she would help release the bird.  Thrilled and eager, Cindy agreed.

On a bright Thursday morning, Cindy stood by the shore of Lake Minneola, holding the carrier that housed the now-healthy hawk. With careful hands and a heart full of hope, she opened the carrier door. The hawk, sensing its freedom, quickly took flight, soaring high into the sky. The sight of the majestic bird flying freely once more was emotional.

As the hawk disappeared into the horizon, Cindy felt a profound sense of happiness and fulfillment. The journey that began with an act of compassion had come full circle, ending on a note of  joy for both the hawk and the caring residents of Clermont.

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