A Bird’s Story

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Last year, I was eating a sugar cookie dotted with M&Ms (my particular weakness — and now you know what to get me for my birthday on Sunday, hint hint) in the Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins when a resounding THWACK made everyone on M-level look up. “Was it a bomb?” a nervous undergraduate murmured. Fortunately for us, it wasn’t. Unfortunately for the red-tail hawks who are unofficial avian ambassadors to the campus, it was one of them. She had flown full-speed into the library window, busting an orange-sized hole in the quarter-inch thick glass — and, amazingly, seemed to be injured but alive, twitching on the ground below.

What I didn’t know until this week was what happened next:  that the hawk was driven to the Phoenix Wildlife Center by a Hopkins employee, where she was X-rayed and found to have no broken bones. Her extensive rehab even included acupuncture. For a little while,
the Center’s staff were hopeful that she’d be able to return to the Homewood campus and be reunited with her mate (red-tailed hawks are monogamous). Alas, the damage proved to be too great, and the bird was euthanized this month. And these days, the Eisenhower Library sports reflective decals to deter other birds.

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