Red-tailed hawk released from LT batting cage


Drew Cushing, Online Editor

As Kathleen Schissler and her husband, Greg, were walking by South Campus in the morning of Aug. 26, they noticed a red-tailed hawk trapped inside one of the batting cages in the backfields. It appeared as if the hawk got into the cage through a small gap located at the base of the fence. According to Kathleen, a sparrow also flew out of the cage around the same time they saw the hawk, so the hawk may have gotten trapped inside the cage in an attempt to prey on the sparrow, which can more easily fly through the chainlink fence.

“The gap looks to have been created by bending the fencing, and/or digging under the fencing,” Kathleen said. “The hawk obviously did not create the gap, but must have used it to enter. Once inside it also found a gap under the interior netting.”

The Schisslers attempted to find a way to get the hawk out of the cage, but both the doors leading into the batting cage were padlocked shut. But Greg was able to flag down two maintenance workers, Lance Turner and Sal Muccianti, for assistance as they were about to drive away in their truck.

Turner and Muccianti were able to unlock the door and once inside they tied up the netting and moved into the cage in order to goad the bird out through the open door. Once outside the batting cage, the hawk landed on a chainlink fence nearby and from there flew into a tree and then out of sight.

“We were all concerned it might be too weak to hunt for food since we didn’t know how long it had been trapped,” Kathleen said. “When it flew out of the tree, perhaps three minutes after being released, we lost sight of it, and decided it would be okay. Who would have thought that a ground-level opening in a batting cage fence could create a death trap for a red-tailed hawk?”