Hawk Rescue at the University of Florida Libraries

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I’m working to catch up on email and work after arriving back from the Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention in Seattle. MLA was wonderful and I have many notes to type and share. In the meantime, however, this story was too good to wait.

The University of Florida is in Gainesville, Florida, which is fairly rural area, and we have hawks on campus. Apparently, yesterday a young hawk made its way into the Smathers Library (formerly named Library East, and the oldest library on campus which houses Special Collections, the Digital Library, and others as well as reading rooms and study space).

The story below is from Marijka Willis:

I saw a hawk inside Library East when I entered the building. The foyer is a large open area with some side overhead lamps. The critter was perched on one, like a statue. I could not believe my eyes. Slowly, while getting out my phone, I moved forward. The statue came to life and flew up to the 2nd floor! Quietly I went up the steps. There it was again. And again, it flew to the landing between the 2nd and 3rd floors. I called the University Police Department and asked for assistance. Within 7 minutes, two officers arrived. Carefully they walked up to the scared bird. The poor thing had already crashed into walls and ledges several times. My husband, who works in Lib. East, brought out his extra T-shirt. The officers managed to scoop up the frightened bird and brought him/her outside. We did not know if the youngster had any injuries. After a few necessary photo moments, the hawk was placed on a low brick wall. After about 2 seconds, he flew to a branch in a nearby tree. Mission Accomplished! Thank you to the officers of the University of Florida Police Department, we have a successful Rescue. On the campus, in and outside Library East, Smathers Library, University of Florida.

The story is very nice: hawk found in unsafe location; hawk safely relocated outside; hawk is healthy! I especially like that Marijka thanks the University of Florida Police Department and all others at UF who helped make this rescue possible in a quick and safe manner (and it’s amazing that the UF Police Department is ready and able to help with wildlife emergencies, along with all of their other regular work to keep people and campus safe). I also especially like that Marjika shared this story and a photo with the world.