New England Wildlife Center
Preserving New England's Wild Legacy
“Donor Hawk” Helps Hawk Fly Again
By: Katrina Bergman


Helping a Hawk Fly Free Again –

Dr. Adamski works with New England Wildlife Center technicians and student interns to repair a red-tailed hawk’s feathers.  This red-tail was admitted to the Center, unable to fly, with severely damaged feathers.  The procedure they are performing to help this hawk fly again is called imping.  Imping is the process of taking feathers from a deceased “donor bird” and epoxying them into the feather shafts of a live bird, who is in need of feather repair.  

In order to complete this procedure, our staff and interns bought a live bamboo plant and cut strips from the woody portion of the plant.  These strips were then dried over night and pressed between two pieces of construction paper with two heavy books placed on top.  During the procedure, it was these bamboo strips that were inserted into the shaft of the donor feather and then into the shaft of the patient.  

These feathers will help this red-tailed hawk fly again and will remain intact until she molts.  In this case, the “donor” red-tail hawk arrived dead at New England Wildlife Center after being shot. The hawk in the video is the patient who is receiving the donated feathers.  She is now doing very well and will be released.

4 Comments to ““Donor Hawk” Helps Hawk Fly Again”

  1. Lawerence Zaccaria says:

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?

    • Jack Banagis says:

      Hey Lawerence,
      Its great to hear that our site is easy to navigate! We have been updating our site in order to make it more user friendly for a while now. In answer to your question, yes we did receive a developer’s help in creating our site.

  2. Dr. Adamski says:


    Greetings. Congratulations on catching a glimpse of America’s national emblem! This beautiful bird has made a stunning comeback from the dark days of the 1960-1970’s when it was considered endangered due to reproduction/egg-related problems caused by pesticides and other related problems that almost wiped out this species. FYI, you can usually find them near large bodies of water as they tend to hunt fish & waterfowl or steal prey items from other smaller birds. All the best. SEEYA!

    Dr. Adamski

  3. Eric Hayduk says:

    I just wanted to let someone know. Sunday morning around 11am we were shoveling the fresh snow. We looked up and saw a huge Bald Eagle. It was being chased by two Ravens. It circled several times about 80′ over our heads. We live on Puritan rd. that dead ends into Great Esker park. I’ve seen one other one once in my life in Main. But this was a first around here. It was unbelivable.
    Please respond if you need any other details.
    Thank You
    Eric Hayduk

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