Monday, October 8, 2012

First Flight at the Irvington Portal

The Ohlone Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center cares for injured, ill and sick wildlife found in the Bay Area. The center’s dedicated team of staff and volunteers was our first call when an injured immature red-tailed hawk was found during the construction of the New Irvington Tunnel (NIT).

Irv needed some help so the NIT team called the Ohlone Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

“Irv” was found with what appeared to be a broken wing (see image) by miners at the start of their morning shift. The crew promptly called our environmental team to determine the appropriate course of action with “Irv.” NIT’s environmental inspectors kept an eye on “Irv” and made sure construction and heavy equipment stayed away until the staff from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center were able to arrive at the site.

Rehabilitating wildlife requires a lot of time and “Irv” spent two months in rehab. Staff and volunteers made sure “Irv” received both the medical attention and training he needed to survive in the wild. The red-tailed hawk is a bird of prey. So, in addition to learning how to fly again, “Irv” had to work on his hunting skills (particularly since he just recently fledged).

The NIT team and Mikey pay a visit to the Ohlone Wildlife Rehabilitation Center NIT Team (L to R): David Tsztoo (Project Manager), Carrie Dovzak (Environmental Inspector), Michael Bumgardner (Project Biologist) and Mikey Ohlone Staff: Sandra and Dave

 “Irv” was released this week near the location where he was found (given that it is probably the area he knows best). The NIT team paid him a visit, said their final goodbyes, and watched as he flew away. Check out “Irv’s” first flight back in the wild:

Irv had a short first flight. After surveying the area for a half hour he took off over the Irvington Portal and headed east. 

We wish “Irv” a happy journey and are thankful to the volunteers and staff at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for helping “Irv” get back into the wild as free-ranging hawk.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Ohlone Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center visit In the meantime, meet Wesley - a barn owl who was guest at the center and is now a non-releasable, permanent resident of the Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward.


  1. That's great. That team does great work!

  2. What a great success story! Congratulations to all involved.