No matter the size of an animal, most drivers flinch when a creature appears headed for the road. Imagine you're on the Thruway when a Red Tail Hawk takes flight from the road and right into the grill of your vehicle. There may be more than flinching going on.

Department of Environmental Conservation Officer Gary Wilson was called to the Pembroke Service Area on the New York State Thruway near Batavia. At the scene, Trooper Andrea Muszynski reported the hawk had penetrated the grillwork of an SUV and was trapped in the space between the radiator and grill.

The good news was the hawk was alive, the bad news it was putting up a fight. It required a group effort to control its talons and free the hawk.  Through the entire process, the bird remained alert and when examined by a veterinarian, was found to have no broken bones or serious injuries.

As a precaution, a wildlife rehabilitator is keeping the Red Tail Hawk for observation. If you encounter a young wild animal that is injured or orphaned, call an ECO, a wildlife rehabilitator, or a Regional DEC Wildlife Office.

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