By Miriam Raftery
December 4, 2013 (Boulevard) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed its examination of a raptor euthanized after it was struck by a semi- truck in Boulevard on November 27.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed the species of bird as a red-tailed hawk, said Jane Hendron, Public Affairs Division Chief with the USFWS in Carlsbad.
Our earlier report incorrectly identified the bird as a Golden Eagle, based on photos examined by a local birds of prey rescue group, a local planning group chair familiar with raptors who also viewed the images, and a passerby who cared for the bird for two hours until a County Animal Control offer arrived to euthanize the bird. Due to technical transmission issues ECM was unable to obtain electronic copies of those images.
The raptor rescue facility owner has since advised ECM that she believes this was a dark-phased red tail hawk which has a dark underbelly and can be confused with an eagle.
The hawk's suffering was eased thanks to compassion shown by passing good Samaritans and a County Animal Control officer. The incorrect identification fueled speculation over why Environmental Impact Reports for two local wind projects had listed no eagles in the vicinity, also raising questions over why an animal control officer euthanized a protected federal species. We regret the error.