Our Birds: Freyja

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A.K.A.: Frey, Freyster

Species: Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Sex: Female

Hatched: 2013

Arrived: 2015

Condition: Human habituated (illegally kept by people)

freyja   freyja   freyja   freyja   freyja

Her Story

Freyja arrived at the Toronto Wildlife Centre in late 2013 with severe feather damage. It appeared that the vanes of many of her feathers had been burned off, and the veterinarians there suspected that she may have been caught in some sort of gas flare. The damage was so extensive that she was completely unable to fly.

Freyja was transferred to the Owl Foundation for long-term rehabilitation. Hawks only moult their entire feather set once per year, so it took just that long for Freya to produce a healthy set of feathers and begin to look like a bird again! Once her feathers were in tip-top shape, she was released into the wild.

Unfortunately Freyja's story doesn't end there - although she was free, she returned to the Owl Foundation, appearing inquisitive and even following the staff on their rounds! It quickly became clear that there was more to Freyja's history than initially met the eye, and that she was very comfortable around people. It is likely that she was illegally taken from the wild when she was young. Her habituation to humans makes her non-releasable, and she joined the Wild Ontario team in early 2015.

Species Information: Red-tailed Hawk

Range: All of North America south of the tree line.

Habitat: Nearly any open area - farmland, prairie, desert, scrubland, roadsides and urban parks.

Diet: Any small animal it can catch. Especially rodents and rabbits, but also reptiles, birds and amphibians.

Fun Fact: The Red-tailed Hawk's scream is often dubbed into movies, over the wimpier call of the Bald Eagle!

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