Hawk travels 1,500 miles by train

January 27, 2011 8:21:20 AM PST
A large hawk, named Journey, crashed into a Canadian Pacific freight train in Alberta, Canada, and wound up at a Chicago bird rehab.

Journey is at Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation on Northerly Island. Dawn Keller is the founder of Flint Creek, flintcreekwildlife.org).

"This is a Ferruginous Hawk. It's a species normally found in the Western United States and Western Canada," said Keller. "It is a large hawk. They actually have about a four foot wingspan."

In the summer of 2009, Journey -- perhaps while chasing prey -- smashed his head on into the front plow of a train. He became entangled and wasn't discovered until the train arrived in Canadian Pacific's Franklin Park freight yard.

Keller, who freed the bird, said, "He was critical. I mean he had head trauma from being hit by a train and on top of that his wing had been in this contorted position ... with a badly dislocated elbow."

Journey's right wing will never heal properly and he will never fly again. But after rehab, he still has a future. The four pound bird will star in educational programs -- after gets more used to being around humans.

"Once we are done with that training he will be on display at our Itasca facility," said Keller.

Journey is probably several months away from being ready to go on display.