James Radford Rescues a Hawk in Midtown

Hooty would be so proud!


Former Decatur City Commission candidate James Radford writes on Flickr

Coolest lunch break ever.

So, on my way back to work after lunch at Colony Square, I’m about to cross over 14th street, and out of nowhere this enormous bird just falls out of the sky and into the middle of the road with a thud. Its a huge hawk and it fell right on the line between the lanes of traffic. Me and these two other guys see it, and are like, holy crap, what should we do? Its still moving. And cars are whizzing past it threatening to run over it at any moment. I think it must have hit the King and Spalding building, which is made of reflective glass.

So we decide to try and pick it up and move it when the traffic stops. The bird has talons and a powerful beak. But we ran into the road and picked up the bird together and took it over to the sidewalk.

People start gathering around to look. We wave down a cop car, but she says there’s nothing she can really do. Someone suggests calling animal control. In the meantime, the bird starts to move. Slowly, it picks itself up. It opens its eyes. It looks around, dazed. Then, in one moment, opens its wings and flies away.

What a cool experience. Helped to save a big beautiful bird. And got to pick up a wild hawk with my bare hands.

13 thoughts on “James Radford Rescues a Hawk in Midtown”


  1. Aw, this is all kinds of awesome– a story like this always renews my faith in humankind. Yes, our little Hooty would indeed be proud (but not surprised)! Good onya, James!

  2. Well done. Hats off to you for having the presence of mind to actually move it. Hopefully he won’t find that rooster hanging around the tracks.

  3. Thanks for being such a good guy, James! I took a blue jay that I thought was hurt to the vet a few years ago. I didn’t want him to suffer. But he shook it off and flew a few laps around the waitng room until he escaped thru the open door.

  4. I would like to salute the hawk for being patient with the human species and refraining from confrontation and accusation, at least in public.

  5. I think it must have hit the King and Spalding building, which is made of reflective glass.

    Life in the city has got to tough for a myopic hawk.

    Good ending to this story. I hope.

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