Birds of a feather - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Birds of a feather

Newman Lake man takes orphaned hawk under his wing

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Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013 12:00 am

HAYDEN - Ken Ryan, of Newman Lake, has taken under his protective wing what he believes is an orphaned hawk. He's named his "mellow" new friend Accipiter.

He estimated Accipiter is about 6 months old, and he found it about four months ago along the side of a road in Newman Lake.

"If I wouldn't have found him, he'd be dead by now," Ryan said Tuesday. "Someone had to take care of him, he can't do it by himself."

Ryan was in Hayden this week for work, and Accipiter was tethered to the back of his pickup truck as Ryan operated some heavy equipment at a construction site near the Prairie Shopping Center.

Ryan said he's protecting Accipiter, which doesn't have any obvious injuries but is unable to fly and sometimes its feet don't seem to work right.

Ryan believes that it was disowned by its mother, after it failed to develop as a flyer and predator.

"I don't think he's right in the head," Ryan said. "He won't even bite. There's no aggression at all."

Ryan has been feeding the hawk steak, chicken and pork chops.

"It took him a while to eat, it kind of freaked out," Ryan said. "I feed him every day."

He added a perch to his bedroom for Accipiter.

While Ryan talked with a reporter about how he and Accipiter have bonded, the hawk walked across the bed of his pickup truck toward Ryan.

"We hang out," he said.

He gently picked Accipiter up and used his tattooed arm as a perch.

Sometimes Ryan will be sitting in his yard at home, and Accipiter "will come sit right up on my lap and eat."

Madonna Luers, a spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, doesn't recommend adopting an orphaned hawk.

"Bless his heart for taking care of the hawk," she said. But, "Wild animals do not make great pets."

She said, technically, it's illegal to keep a wild animal, even one that appears helpless. "It's not like we're policing this," she said.

She recommends that anyone who finds a hawk or other animal contact the department. It would then be placed with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

"It comes down to what is best for the wild animal," Luers said.

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