Nothing excites our visitors more than seeing raptors up close and personal.  There are many ways to do that at Braddock Bay, from the hawkwatch to the banding station to the Owl Woods.  Encountering  wild raptors in their natural habitat is surely a thrill.  Just as thrilling is getting to see these birds even more closely, in a way that helps people really connect with the species.  BBRR is excited to announce the arrival of a new ambassador for the organization – this non-releasable Broad-winged Hawk.

BBRR’s new education Broad-winged Hawk. Photo by Ethan Ford

The Broad-wing comes to us from Kindred Kingdoms Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, north of Syracuse, NY.  She came into the care of wildlife rehabilitator Jean Soprano after he was hit by a car near Watertown, NY.  Unfortunately she sustained injuries that would prevent his release back to the wild.  She is now missing his left eye and also has some permanent damage to one wing.  Despite these injuries, she is quite a beautiful bird, and has a very charming personality, making her a good candidate for educational use.

The Broad-wing is a juvenile, hatched sometime last summer, so she is sporting the plumage of a youngster right now.  She will molt into her adult plumage this coming summer, which will give her that diagnostic wide white tail band, and her streaky chest will change to one with rufous colored barring.  It is believed that she is a female due to her mass being on the higher end of the spectrum, and females are larger than males in the raptor world.

The Broad-winged Hawk is currently sporting some beautiful juvenile plumage. Photo by Ethan Ford

After only a couple of months in her new BBRR home, the Broad-wing has proved she is ready to go out into the world and take on her new job as an education bird.  She recently made her first appearance at a local Brownie Troop meeting.  The girls were learning about backyard birds and had plans to create some homemade bird feeders.  They were the perfect audience to start the Broad-wing out on her new career, as she showed she was very comfortable in her unfamiliar surroundings.

Daena Ford presents the Broad-winged Hawk to some Brownies from Honeoye Falls.

BBRR’s Broad-winged Hawk is the first addition to the new education bird program we are calling Raptor Connections.  The goal is to add 3 more birds to the collection, all of which will be program birds, available for outreach and other educational appearances.  Stay tuned for updates as we acquire new birds.  If you would like to schedule a Raptor Connections program with our Broad-winged Hawk (and other birds in the future), contact Daena Ford at or 585-267-5483.