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Live hawk to be released at raptor center event

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By Jeannie Counce Montana Raptor Conservation Center

BOZEMAN – The Montana Raptor Conservation Center will release a Swainson’s hawk into the wild during its Family Fun Day on Aug. 10.

The adult male hawk was admitted to MRCC on May 14 from the Humane Society in Dillon where he was found. The bird had a shoulder fracture and has spent the last several months receiving medical treatment as he regained the ability to fly and hunt independently.

“His progress was slow at first and required some physical therapy to get the proper range of motion in his shoulder,” said MRCC Director Becky Kean. “Once he started flying, he only got better and now he’s finally ready for his second chance for freedom.”

MRCC rescues and rehabilitates about 200 injured raptors each year from across the state, according to MRCC Board Chair Rick Sanders, and the majority of the injuries are severe and life threatening.

“The release of this hawk is a great achievement and a prime example of the meaningful work being done at the center,” Sanders said. “We hope the community will come out to help us celebrate this success, hear more about our efforts to save birds of prey, and bring their children to have fun and learn how important raptors are to our ecosystem.”

The event will be held from 12-4 p.m. at the MRCC on Springhill Road, where staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions regarding raptor traits, behavior, and how MRCC rescues, rehabilitates, and releases injured birds of prey. The center’s ambassador birds – rescued raptors that are unable to return to the wild – will also be on hand.

Family Fun Day will include fun, educational activities for kids, raptor fact games, face painting, ice cream and treats for sale, a raffle, and limited tours inside the rehabilitation facility for a small fee.

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