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Injured hawk, a Hopkins fixture, is put to sleep

Kathy Woods tried everything she could think of to save the female red-tailed hawk that was injured last year by crashing into a library window at the Johns Hopkins University.

Even bird acupuncture.

But the hawk's nerve damage proved too serious to overcome, and she was put to sleep.

"The impact of the glass was just too much," Woods, who runs the Phoenix Wildlife Center in Baltimore County, said Tuesday.

It wasn't the happy ending many wished for at Hopkins, where the hawk and her mate were such common sights that they attained "celebrity status on the Homewood campus," according to The Gazette, the university's newspaper.

Woods hopes the hawk will posthumously serve as an "ambassador for bird-friendly buildings" in Baltimore. She says birds routinely die after flying into windows that they can't easily discern.

Since the Nov. 16 collision, Hopkins has taken steps to help birds avoid collisions. Large hawk-shaped decals have been put on windows at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library and the Glass Pavilion.

Woods found it amazing that the hawk even survived the impact, which shattered glass a quarter-inch thick. A supervisor of the campus carpentry shop drove the injured bird out to the Phoenix center.

Initially, Woods expressed optimism after X-rays revealed bruising but no broken bones. She predicted that the hawk would again take to the skies over Homewood, and perhaps reunite with her mate.

But as rehab progressed slowly, Woods decided to give acupuncture a try. For a couple months, a volunteer acupuncturist administered weekly therapy on the bird.

Woods explained how it differed from human acupuncture: "Instead of having you sit there for half an hour holding a bird of prey with needles, they take a vitamin, and draw it up into tiny syringes. They inject that, and that amount of fluid is the pressure."

As the weeks ticked by, though, the hawk never managed to stretch her injured wing. She was euthanized last month.

"She would pick at and shred the feathers, and it just finally got too much for her," Woods noted. "She was uncomfortable not being able to even perch normally, and the decision was made."

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