Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Emma to the rescue!

Yesterday afternoon, I decided Emma really needed a good run, and I knew the other couple in camp were in favor of me letting her off her leash so she could burn off some energy.  So, I took her out to the end of the field and let her go.  Boy, did she take off!  She ran the border of the compound around and around and around for about twenty minutes.  Then, her nose took over as she sniffed out every square inch of the place. 


A little while later, she really started barking.  The last time I heard her carry on like that, a five foot rattlesnake was outside my rig.  I hot footed it across the field to see what she was upset about, and this is what I saw…

_MG_7919a red-tailed hawk sitting on the ground!   I put Emma back on her leash and took her back to the rig.

Then I went back to check on the bird.  It could not get up and fly away.  It was very alive, but was obviously injured.

IIMG_7913As I approached more closely, it was able to extend it’s wings, but didn’t seem able to get up on it’s feet.   Now what?  I headed back to my rig to get my phone and tried to call the number for a wildlife rehabilitator.  No one answered.  I eventually called the refuge assistant manager, and he ended up driving out to take a look at the bird.


It turned out that the person I had tried to call is no longer a rehabilitator, so he called the person who now is.  We were told to make the bird comfortable, bring it indoors, and then bring it to them in the morning. (if it was still alive)  We picked up the hawk, put it in a very large cardboard box, and put it for the night in one of the bathrooms of the community building.  We really didn’t hold out much hope that it would make it through the night.


I understand that it is the survival of the fittest in the natural world, but it made me feel better to think of the young bird peacefully passing in the dark box as opposed to what would have been it’s fate when the pack of coyotes found it in the night.  I’d rather the coyotes spend their time hunting the rodents in the area.  :)


To our surprise, the bird made it through the night, and John, the assistant manager, took it today to the rehabilitation center in Houston.  I don’t suppose I’ll ever find out if it recuperates, but I hope it will.  By the way, the reason I know this was a young bird is that it had a brown barred tail; not the rusty red tail of an adult bird.

_MG_7923 _MG_7924

It has been raining rather hard all day today, so I could not do the bird survey.  Since the water table is just below the surface at the volunteer pads, we are fairly floating away this evening.  The rain was slanting from the southwest most of the time, so this female American kestrel sought refuge on the lee side of the martin house outside my rig.  I’m sure it helped keep it’s feathers a little dryer.  :)


Emma did a good job of alerting me to the plight of the hawk yesterday.

IMG_7378It was located at the base of this tree in the picture.  No one would have seen it without her finding it first.  Right now, I’m just remembering this gorgeous sunset because tonight’s sky remained leaden gray and moisture filled.


Thanks for stopping by…. talk to you later,  Judy


  1. What a cool team you and Emma are! Well done!!

  2. way to go Emma!!!..great bird shots, Judy..do you remember Al's story about the bird they found?..we can hope that Emma's hawk will make a full recovery!

  3. How wonderful of Emma to alert you! Your pictures are also wonderful!

    Cyndi and Stumpy RVly Ever After

  4. Rehabilitation centers do marvelous work at nursing sick and injured birds back to health. It is sad though when birds are not able to be released back to the wild.
    Job well done Emma!!

  5. I am so glad the coyotes didn't get the bird. I know that coyotes have to eat also but I'm glad this is one meal they had to miss. Way to go Emma.

  6. Good girl Emma!

    Craig says the header picture is as good as or better than any of the National Geographic pictures of the year!

    I agree.

  7. Good job Miss Emma! Hope you got an extra treat from Mom!!

  8. Amazing photos and story...thanks so much for sharing!!!

  9. Emma's a smart dog. Sure hope the hawk makes it.

  10. Sure hope your little Hawk fares better than our little Owl did last last summer. Always such a helpless feeling coming across animals in distress.

  11. Great job Emma! And of course to the humans that took over later. Hope the bird recuperates and is able to be released back into the wild.

  12. Good job Emma, I knew you would come through, your just smarter than the average dog, lot smarter.You and Rigg's would make a good team as he is smart too. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  13. Your banner photo is just incredible. Let's hope he's on his way to recovery.

    We really needed the rain being over 10" under our annual rainfall for this time of year so I personally welcomed it. Now on through the fog for a couple of days.

    Be well,


  14. Nice post Judy. Thankfully you and Emma came to the rescue. Certainly without your intervention, this little hawk would not have any possibility of survival.


  15. Dogs will be dogs. They will also mirror their master. You two make a great team. Like you, Emma knew that this little hawk needed help.

    Mac & Dianna

  16. Emma the wonder dog. She looks like a smart dog.

  17. Good job Emma! Way to go in helping that poor Hawk. We sure hope he makes it.

    Travel Safe
    Dawn & Denise

  18. You had an exciting day Judy. Great pictures and I sure they will make that bird healthy again. Great job Emma.

    Brenda Brown

  19. You and Emma need to start a wildlife rescue business..."Sniffers and Savers"....love the story..yea Emma!!!!!!(and you too, Judy, but Emma gets first billing.)

  20. Good Job Emma! We can only hope the hawk makes it.

  21. OK, Emma found the bird but you had to put it in a box. I'm looking at that beak thinking--HOW?!? Do you still have all your digits? Yikes Judy!

  22. Given how some dogs react to that situation, she saved the bird twice, first by not finishing the bird off her self and second by alerting you.

    Clearly, she is your dog in fact and in demeanor.

  23. Fascinating post, Judy! That hawk might go on to live a long and adventurous life thanks to the timely discovery by Emma and your intervention. Love the photos.

  24. Wonderful, Emma!
    I hate to see any critter suffer, I sure hope it pulls through. Maybe they will be kind enough to let you know.

    I came across a pigeon with a broken wing, then found out that there was a vet in Houston, who would treat any injured wild bird for $10, no matter what was wrong with it.
    I took it there, they treated it's wing, and I kept it confined as I was told, increasing it's area as it recovered.
    Once it got well, I released it when it was ready. It would hear my car coming home up the hill, and always came to greet me, saying "Woo,woo", so that became it's name.

    One day it didn't greet me, and I found out an owl had killed it.
    I hope your owl gets better, but I lost my love for owls when that one killed my WooWoo.

    Happy Tails and Trails, Penny, TX.