Hawk Survives After Being Hit, Trapped In Car Grill On I-57

Mike Krauser
December 05, 2018 - 1:13 pm
Hawk stuck in car grill
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A South Holland woman was driving Tuesday night on I-57 when she hit a juvenile red-tailed Hawk and didn’t know she had brought it home alive. 

The animal survived the impact and the night and is being cared for at Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation in Barrington.  

How it finally got there is a story, itself. 

Flint Creek Founder Dawn Keller said the hawk’s head became stuck in the grill of the car on I-57 and the driver wasn’t aware.

“She knew she hit it," Keller said, "but she did not realize it had lodged in the grill of her car.”

Keller said the woman drove for 20 minutes before arriving home and finding the hawk there.

"When she got home a wing came up and she saw it through the windshield, you know, the wing rose above the hood," she said.

The woman, her husband and a neighbor managed to free the bird.

Then, Keller said, they spent two hours making calls, trying to find someone to help.

They talked to a vet in Skokie, who reached out to Keller, and she called the couple.

“Kind of funny. I called the gentleman and identified myself and said, ‘I understand you need help with a hawk and he said, ‘oh, my gosh, yes.’  He was just so excited that finally he had found help,'" Keller said.

The couple then drove for an hour to meet Keller with the bird. 

Keller said they’re treating the bird for shock, head trauma and some pretty significant damage to the upper body. She said he’s not out of the woods yet. 

“In some regards I was happy upon initial exam, because there were no fractures, which is fabulous,” she said.  

But she said there’s still significant damage to the head, chest and crop, which is a temporary holding place for food. And they’re treating it for all that.

“It’s obviously very positive that it made it through last night, but it’ll be a much better prognosis once we can address some of the gastrointestinal issues," Keller said.