General Services Team Rescues Red Tail Hawk

February 15, 2024

This story is an update. The hawk was found injured and stuck in barrier netting on roof of Executive Tower at Capitol last November.


February 15, 2024

A hawk found injured at the Capitol last November was released on February 8, 2024 from the Liberty Wildlife campus after its rehab has been completed and it is strong enough to return to the wild.

When the hawk first arrived at Liberty Wildlife it was assessed by the Medical Services team. The weight of the hawk was 879g which usually suggests male and it was noted that it was hock sitting (meaning that it wasn’t standing on its legs like hawks usually do).  It was weak. The right leg was fully extended out and there was no pain response in the feet/toes. 

A x-ray was taken and no fractures were seen so the team determined there was potential nerve inflammation/soft tissue injury and it was put on pain medications and placed in a small cage in the ICU to prohibit much movement while it was monitored.

Within a few days of treatment and cage rest, he was eating more, was able to put weight on the injured leg, and the swelling had reduced. He was placed in the outside rehabilitation flight cages at the end of December in order to build up his muscles for release. 

We are so thankful to Liberty Wildlife and Arizona Game and Fish for their assistance with the rehabilitation of this red tail hawk! 

Watch the video of the hawk being released


December 1, 2023

The ADOA General Services (GSD) team came to the rescue of a red tail hawk on Thursday, November 30, 2023 after they found it on the roof of the Executive Tower tangled in some pigeon barrier netting. The team was inspecting the HVAC system when HVAC Tech Adrian Flores heard rustling and went to investigate. To his surprise he found one of the resident Capitol Mall red tail hawks stuck in the netting and struggling to get free. It looked like the hawk chased a pigeon into the netting, had lunch and then got his right talon stuck upon leaving. 

After the team’s discovery, they sprang into action, grabbing protective gloves and tools in order to protect the hawk and themselves while they worked to free him. Ground supervisor Doug Hayes held the hawk safely while Adrian and lead building engineer Harley Rustenburg carefully cut the netting in order to free the hawk. 

The rescue operation took approximately 15-20 minutes and the hawk was freed within 40 minutes of discovery. The General Services team worked with Arizona Game and Fish who connected them to Liberty Wildlife, where he was delivered for observation. 

X-rays were done and no bones were broken and he will be under observation over the next few weeks to make sure all is well. When he is healthy enough to be released, he will be returned back to his home in the Capitol Mall area. 

The male hawk is part of a family of hawks that live at the Capitol Mall and have been seen by our facilities crews for at least the past six years. The resident hawks aren’t the only birds of prey that can be found around the Capitol, there are also barn owls and falcons. In addition to being a majestic sight to see, they are effective and capable hunters and keep the rodent and pigeon population around the Capitol under control. Raptors are protected under both federal and state law. 

Big thanks to the GSD team for their quick thinking and action!


image collage of the The ADOA General Services team rescuing a red tail hawk.
A red tail hawk was rescued by the GSD team after they found it on the roof of the Executive Tower tangled in some pigeon barrier netting.