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Missing Hawk Found Safe

March 15, 2023 01:07 PM

After missing for five days, a red-tailed hawk, used for education programming, was found near its home at Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods on Tuesday, March 14. He escaped from his home when it was vandalized. 

The federally protected raptor was spotted by a Forest Preserves volunteer on a six-foot tree stump. Environmental educators surrounded the hawk until they were able to recover him. The Forest Preserves have permits to care for the animal.

“The entire education staff is thrilled that our education hawk has been recovered safely, knowing how challenging it must have been for him since he is severely limited with flight,” said Director of Education Nan Buckardt. “After his recovery, he eagerly ate, which makes me think that he likely wasn't successful in getting food.”

The adult male hawk is not releasable into the wild due to a left-wing injury that affects his flight. The hawk has a drooping left wing when perched and an impaired right hind digit.

“The hawk, as an education ambassador, provides the opportunity for program participants to learn about ecosystems, biodiversity, food webs and more while admiring an animal that could not survive without our help,” Buckardt said. “We are grateful for the interest and support given by all involved.”

Media Contact: Nan Buckardt, Director of Education,, 847-968-3330