This coopers hawk had a head injury (maybe hit by a car). He did well and was released after a few weeks of “R & R” and lots of mice. The person holding the hawk is Connecticut Wildlife Rehabber Wanda D’Agostino of East Hartford.
Brenda Cataldo has been a state licensed wildlife rehabilitator of the past 10 years, working out of her home in Bolton. She specializes in rehabbing squirrels, rabbits and turtles.
When asked why she became a rehabilitator, Brenda said, “I always wanted to be a veterinarian and this is the next best thing.” She cares for 30 to 40 animals each year, most injured by being attacked by dogs or cats or being hit by cards. After caring for their injuries, Brenda said most animals are able to be released. She especially enjoys raising orphaned bunnies and has good luck with these difficult “babies” who usually die in captivity.
Brenda has been married to her husband Frank for 32 years and has two children and one step-grandchild. She also shares her home with two dogs, two domestic rabbits, one Malaysian turtle (a rescue) and a conure parrot.
She has helped rehab 424 animals in the past 10 years with a 70% release ratio.
Brenda is also a professional photographer and uses funds earned by her photography to defray the cost of rehabilitating animals in her care.
By Wanda D’Agostino
I had just finished clearing off the table from our Christmas brunch when the phone rang. It was a young woman from Manchester who said an owl had flown into her window and was lying on her patio. She was afraid it was dying.
I told her to gently throw a towel over it, put it in a box and bring it right over. While I waited for her to arrive, I prepared a cage and defrosted two mice. In a little while, she arrived carrying a large cardboard box which we placed on my dining room table.
You can imagine my great surprise as I carefully opened the box and a very lively tawny screech owl flew out! It circled the dining room twice and then headed for our living room where it immediately spotted our Christmas tree and landed amid the ornaments! It looked so comfortable there, I let it rest and grabbed my camera to take this picture.
The owl did well, and after a week of TLC (and dozens of mice!!) was released on New Year’s Day back where he was found. I know from now on every Christmas tree I put up will seem empty without my real live ornament—my Christmas owl!