A red-tailed hawk that flew into an apartment window, shattering the glass, was rescued Friday evening in Half Moon Bay after a couple witnessed the incident — on their way to get married, officials said.
The Coastside Fire Protection District, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA (PHS/SPCA) responded to the incident around 7:45 p.m.
“Our rescue staff received a call from a man and his fiancée who were outside with their three-month-old baby on their way to get married in San Francisco when they witnessed a hawk fly into a neighbor’s window at their apartment building and crash through the glass,” said Buffy Martin Tarbox, a spokesperson for PHS/SPCA.
PHS/SPCA was able to reach the resident of the apartment the bird flew into and gain permission to enter so the hawk could be brought to safety.
According to Tarbox, firefighters used a ladder from one of their engines to access the broken window and remove the remaining glass shards, so they could enter the home and let PHS/SPCA in to tend to the hawk.
“We thoroughly examined the bird and discovered, happily and frankly surprisingly, that he had suffered no injuries. Our rescue officers, specifically trained to help all animals including native wildlife, released him back into the wild. Bird strikes are a common call we receive, but we have never had a hawk entirely break through a window. It’s a miracle the hawk wasn’t injured,” Tarbox said.
According to the PHS/SPCA, glass is often invisible to birds and they can become attracted to what they see reflected in it. To reduce the likelihood of a bird strike, the PHS/SPCA recommends placing window decals, stickers, sun catchers and masking tape on windows.