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Educators Ask Public for Help to Find Hawk

March 13, 2023 02:15 PM

Environmental educators from the Lake County Forest Preserves are asking the public for assistance in locating a red-tailed hawk that has been missing after its home was vandalized at Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods.

The hawk, used for education programming, is not releasable into the wild, and will not survive due to a left-wing injury that affects his flight. The adult male hawk has a drooping left wing when perched. Its right hind digit is also impaired. When last seen, he was wearing leather anklets and straps that dangle below his feet. He will most likely be found perched on the lower branches of a tree. 

The federally protected hawk requires human assistance in gathering food. The Forest Preserves have permits and skills to care for the animal. 

“The hawk could be anywhere,” said Director of Education Nan Buckardt. “Our staff has completed thorough searches at Ryerson, so we need assistance looking beyond at the forest preserve.”

The hawk serves as an educational ambassador to the Forest Preserves. "An important part of our team is now missing. We hope the public is able to assist in finding him before it's too late," Buckardt said.  

If residents have information about the hawk or any suspicious activity, they are encouraged to call the Lake County Sheriff’s Department at 847-549-5200 and ask to speak with a ranger. For emergencies, call 911.

Media contact: Nan Buckardt,, 847-968-3330