Whitefish Bay woman saves hawk from predicament with fox in backyard

NOW: Whitefish Bay woman saves hawk from predicament with fox in backyard


WHITEFISH BAY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- What would you do if you if you found a hawk stuck in a fence in your backyard? That's just what happened to a volunteer from the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, and luckily, she knew just what to do.

The sharp-shinned hawk that Judith Huf saw in her backyard was a lot smaller than the common cooper's hawk, and she was in the right place at the right time to help the little guy out.

"My next-door neighbor Mary texted me and said, 'I just saw a fox go up your driveway,'" said Huf, Whitefish Bay resident, nearly lifelong-birdwatcher, and longtime volunteer at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Bayside.

Huf says when a fox came to her backyard, she did what anyone would do -- she started taking pictures.

What she thought at first was a plastic bag caught in the fencing was actually a sharp-shinned hawk.

"The fox's attention was caught by the fluttering, as well as mine," said Huf. The fox went up and started pulling at the bird's tail feathers and at that point, I felt I had to intervene."

Huf says when she started to help the bird, he was panicking.

"Like, 'All I wanted was breakfast and I ended up with foxes and people, ah!'" said Huf.

Luckily, with how small the hawk was, and with her proximity to wildlife preservationists, she knew what to do.

"I had to carefully put my hand around, pushing one wing and pushing the other wing without getting bit by the sharp end," said Huf.

Luckily, his feathers were just a little ruffled.

"So, I tossed him up and he flew way over my neighbor's and probably said, 'it'll be a cold day in hell when I come back to this yard,'" said Huf.

Huf said it's a reminder of what she always says, it doesn't take going on a safari to see amazing wildlife.

"You don't have to go on an expensive, thousands of dollars trip. Just look in your backyard," said Huf.

Experts say unless you know what you're doing, like Judith did, it's probably best to leave helping birds of prey like this to the professionals.

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