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Posted at 10:25 AM ET, 01/26/2011

Library of Congress hawk captured

By Elizabeth Flock

Updated, 10:12 a.m. Jefferson the hawk was safely captured at around 8:30 a.m. this morning by experts from the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Service. They laid a trap with two starling birds inside to bait the hungry hawk, which hadn't eaten since the frozen quail bait on Sunday. Jefferson swooped down to eat the starlings, and her talons quickly caught on to the trap's hooks. It took only 25 minutes for her to be captured.

Jefferson was then put into a box with breathing holes for safe transport to raptor rehab at the Raptor Conservancy. The bird experts estimated that Jefferson is now the size of a male hawk--females are usually larger than males--so it was likely she had lost weight and is emaciated. They transported her out of the library quickly to get her to food and drink.

Library security guards, police, research librarians, and architects cheered the hawk's capture, and then mourned her departure after a week spent with her in the Main Reading Room.

A team of three rescuers, (from left to right): Kennon Smith, a federally licensed raptor bander who volunteers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Linda Moore, Vice President of the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia and Craig Koppie, an eagle/raptor biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, used two European starlings to bait and trap the hawk. (Library of Congress Photo/ Abby Brack)
Updated, 8:40 a.m.

Post reporter Elizabeth Flock reports via Twitter that the hawk has been caught. Check back in a bit for a full report and video.

Original post:

The Cooper's hawk that took shelter in the Library of Congress last Wednesday night has so far avoided capture by traps, bait or nets. She's eluded the Raptor Conservancy of Northern Virginia, the Humane Society, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She's a plane, she's a bird, she's Jefferson the hawk!

(Jefferson was the name chosen after much deliberation by our readers, check out the other suggestions here.)

This morning, the bird experts gathered here say Jefferson may be hungry enough to take the bait, climb in the cage, and escape the dome of the Main Reading Room of the library at last. We're here shooting video of Jefferson the hawk's escape, and live tweeting @PostLocal with the hashtag #Freethehawk.

By Elizabeth Flock  | January 26, 2011; 10:25 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Elizabeth Flock  
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