Forest preserve district seeks help in locating its educational ambassador, a red-tailed hawk

Lake County Forest Preserve District officials are asking for the public's help in locating their educational ambassador, a red-tailed hawk that has been missing since late last week.

The hawk's enclosure at the Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods was vandalized, allowing it to escape.

The forest preserve staff and volunteers have been searching the 565-acre area but think the adult male hawk may be elsewhere. The hawk won't survive in the wild because of an injury to its left wing, according to the forest preserve.

"He can't have any kind of sustained flight or get altitude," said Nan Buckardt, director of education. "We want to make sure we can recover him if possible so we can keep him alive."

Buckardt said the hawk doesn't have the muscle or wing control to hunt.

"The only way it's going to survive is if it's cared for," she said.

The hawk has a drooping left wing when perched. Its right hind digit is also impaired, according to the district.

It was last seen wearing leather anklets and straps that dangle below his feet and most likely will be found perched on the lower branches of a tree.

The bird of prey is federally protected.

Anyone who has information about the hawk or any suspicious activity should call the Lake County sheriff's office's nonemergency number, (847) 549-5200, and ask to speak with a forest preserve ranger.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.