MEDFORD, Ore. — Medford police are still searching for someone who shot a red-tailed hawk on the 600 block of Cherry Lane on Tuesday afternoon. Police say the shooting is a federal crime. Hawks are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
“We have some witness statements maybe seeing a couple of juveniles with a gun. It’s hard to say if it was a BB gun or a pellet gun or an actual rifle. But we haven’t talked to anyone else that saw that so we don’t really have a lot to go on,” said Medford Police Lt. Mike Budreau.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife examined the bird finding one wing damaged.
“There’s a lot of force extracted on those bones. They’re thin-like bones in their body and because of that, they can’t handle breaks,” said Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife assistant biologist Dan Ethridge.
ODFW officials plan to house the bird overnight and see if they can save the hawk from being euthanized.
“Repair of it, I don’t think will be fixed with the location of the break. Other than that, I think he’s fine. So, if we can find a home for him we will see what we can do,” said Ethridge.
The person responsible could face charges for several reasons.
“It is against the law to fire any type of pellet gun or any type of rifle in the city limits, which we are in. Because there’s a lot of people around and that bullets going to keep traveling, it’s going to come down somewhere else,” said Lt. Budreau.
“Even I didn’t know it was a federal offense to shoot a bird. And I’m glad it is because it’s an innocent, beautiful bird,” said witness Pamela Pierce.
ODFW officials will also look if the bird can go into a rehabilitation center. Red-tailed hawks are not an endangered species but because of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the person who shot this bird could face 6 months in prison with several thousand dollars in fines. If you have any information on this incident, you’re encouraged to contact the Medford Police Department.