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Red-tailed hawk released, spent three months at REGI

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:40 PM CST
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - A young red-tailed hawk spent three months in rehabilitation at Raptor Education Group, Inc. (REGI) in Antigo, after he was found in Marshfield by a familiar couple.

Jim and Melissa Gwiazda are all about growth and spreading wings. They are also the couple behind Marshfield Monarchs, where they raise thousands of caterpillars into butterflies and release them. The couple found the hawk back in August while getting milkweed for caterpillars near a ditch.

“We went out a little later with flashlights out in a ditch and we ended up spotting him in the storm...” Jim said. He said once he came across the hawk, he didn’t know what to do, but he started by calling Marge Gibson, the Executive Director and Founder of REGI. “...and that’s when we scooped him up and kept him overnight and the next day we rushed him over to REGI,” Jim said.

Once Gibson got to examine the hawk, she found out he was poisoned and underweight, with little to no muscle by his breastbone, which is crucial to fly.

“He was suffering from a toxin and also had been on the ground for a bit of time so he was really thin,” Gibson said. “Making that right and getting him back out into the wild is exactly why we do this work, and it’s really exciting to see him go.”

The couple explained they loved animals and couldn’t let the hawk sit and suffer. But now, they were able to see him after three long months of ‘growing his wings.’

“Red-tailed hawks are my favorite but I don’t think it would matter what kind of bird it was or anything, it’s just you want to help them,” Jim said.

“From butterfly wings to beautiful hawk wings, we let them all go,” Melissa added.

Gibson explained that if anyone happens to be in the same situation, to call and if you are able to, put the bird in a cardboard box with air holes and a towel at the bottom. To learn more about REGI, click here.

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