This Red-tailed hawk was rescued by an animal-control officer after it became stuck in netting at Billerica Country Club Monday morning.  Courtesy photoSun
This Red-tailed hawk was rescued by an animal-control officer after it became stuck in netting at Billerica Country Club Monday morning. Courtesy photo

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our Smugmug site.

BILLERICA -- A Red-tailed hawk that was tangled in a net at the Billerica Country Club Monday morning made a quick getaway after it was cut free by an animal-control officer who braved the bird's talons to make a rescue.

Animal Control Officer Christine Gualtieri said the raptor was surprisingly calm when she was called to the course at about 9:30 a.m. The officer was called by a groundskeeper, who found the bird in a net that prevents errant golf balls from flying off the course.

"One of the hawk's claws was completely tangled," Gualtieri said. "I don't know what he did, but it was completely tangled around it numerous times."

Gualtieri said a groundskeeper got her a 24-foot ladder to help reach the bird, which was caught fairly high off the ground. She said the bird was a bit skittish when she first climbed up on the opposite side of the net from the stuck hawk, but he quickly calmed down.

"He was actually pretty calm," she said. "It was almost as if he knew we were trying to set him free."

The hawk quickly flew away once Gualtieri cut his talon free from the net, though it appeared as though his leg may have been hurt.

"He landed on a tree and then flew away with another hawk," she said.

Gualtieri asked the groundskeepers to keep an eye out for the hawk just to make sure he doesn't have trouble catching food if the leg is seriously injured.


Advertisement

Billerica Animal Control has been using an account on Twitter to post and help locate lost animals around town, and Gualtieri said the hawk incident was a good reminder that animal control will respond to calls that involve more than just than pets.

"It's nice for people to realize we'll help with all kinds of animals, not just dogs and cats," she said.

Follow Billerica Animal Control on Twitter @BillericaAC.

Follow Robert Mills on Twitter and Tout @Robert_Mills.