Meet Grayson, the newest education hawk at the Wildlife Center of Virginia!

Some "what's new" followers may remember our "new hawk on the block" post from September 2010, when Grayson [then known as Broad-winged Hawk #10-1371] moved into the education area at the Wildlife Center. 

Since then, education coordinator Kelly Rourke and wildlife rehabilitator Dani Stumbo have been working with the bird to get him comfortable with stepping up on the glove, as well as getting him used to being in front of large groups of people. Training throughout the winter and early this spring went quite well, and this spring it became clear that little Broad-winged Hawk 1371 could permanently join the educational animal ambassador team. 

After tossing around several different ideas for names, the WCV staff settled on the name Grayson, for the county in which the hawk was rescued last summer. In April 2011, Grayson appeared in his first off-site program:  Earth Day Staunton 2011. 

Grayson was admitted to the Wildlife Center in June 2010 as a fledgling bird. Upon admission, the veterinary staff confirmed that the small hawk had a broken right humerus, and also found a hole in the hawk’s patagium (the skin extending from the humerus to the carpus–it makes up the leading edge of a bird’s wing). Unfortunately, the wing fracture was very close to the shoulder joint, which meant that the veterinary team could not pin the fracture to ensure a proper alignment. Instead, Grayson's wing was bandaged, the patagium sutured, and the bird was cage-rested for a couple of weeks. When it became time for the bandages to be removed, the  extension of the hawk’s injured wing was not what it should be. After many sessions of physical therapy, the extension of the wing improved, but not nearly enough for the hawk to be a candidate for release. With poor fracture alignment, Grayson's injured humerus is shorter than the other, and he will never regain full flight capabilities.

The WCV staff looks forward to working with Grayson for many years to come, to educate and inspire others about wildlife and the environment.

Through the Center’s Caring for Critters program, you can “adopt” Grayson  ... or one of the Center’s other education animals. Your Caring for Critters donation helps provide food, shelter, and medical care for the sponsored animal … supports the Center’s educational programs … and helps provide state-of-the-art emergency care to thousands of animals admitted to the Wildlife Center each year.