6 min read

Hawk From Viral Hurricane Video Is In The Best Hands Now

“He has to be able to fly perfectly before he's released.”

When a scared hawk landed in a guy's taxi to seek shelter from Hurricane Harvey, the driver captured the whole ordeal on video — and it quickly went viral. Luckily, the hawk is now getting the help he needs at wildlife rehab center.

When the hawk first landed in William Bruso's cab, he seemed very out of sorts, incredibly scared and possibly injured. Bruso had no idea what to do, and not wanting to scare the hawk even more, he drove around with him for a while, hoping that when he was ready, the hawk would fly away again. In the meantime, he decided to name him Harvey the Hurricane Hawk. 

After a while, when it became clear that Harvey wasn’t going anywhere, Bruso took him out of the taxi and tried to get him to fly away — but Harvey still refused. He clearly wasn’t in any condition to be released back into the soon-to-be treacherous outdoors, and so Bruso decided to take Harvey home with him until a wildlife rehabber could come and pick him up. 

At Bruso’s home, Harvey hunkered down in a corner, waiting out the storm with Bruso and his friend. Bruso had posted many video updates about Harvey’s rescue, and after seeing them, someone decided to message the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition (TWRC) through Facebook. After seeing the message, TWRC got in contact with Bruso, and rescuers from the group were able to come and pick Harvey up and take him to get the care he clearly needed. 

“The rain was really starting to get heavy in places, so I knew if I didn't go get him right away, he was going to be in trouble, since he wouldn't be able to go anywhere for several days,” Liz Compton, rehab coordinator at TWRC, told The Dodo.

After examining him, rescuers determined that Harvey was unable to fly, likely due to some sort of minor head or body trauma, possibly from flying into something. He was also incredibly dehydrated and hungry, which is why Harvey had been so calm when he was rescued. 

“Most people think that when a wild animal is acting tame, they think, ‘Oh it's sweet,’ or, ‘Oh it likes me,’ but that's not what's going on,” Compton said. “What’s going on is the animal is compromised. He wasn't able to fly so he wasn't able to hunt or eat, so that's why he was so calm. Now he's not calm.” 

harvey the hurricane hawk

Rescuers started Harvey on anti-inflammatories, and also gave him lots of fluids to help him regain his strength. Now, Harvey is back to normal, eating well — and is very, very feisty, exactly the way a hawk should be. 

Currently, Harvey is being kept in a large dog kennel with a perch to allow him time to heal, and once he’s completely back to normal, he’ll be moved into a large outdoor cage where he can relearn how to fly and how to be a hawk. Harvey will be released back into the wild around a month from the day he was rescued. 

harvey the hurricane hawk

“We don't want him to re-injure himself if we put him in a larger cage too soon,” Compton said. “He has to be able to fly perfectly before he's released.” 

If Harvey had been left to fend for himself during the worst of the storm, his situation may have gotten much worse. Luckily he was found by the right people, and is now in capable hands, slowly gaining back his strength and preparing for the day when he can be released back into the wild where he belongs. 

harvey the hurricane hawk
If you’d like to help other animals affected by Hurricane Harvey, you can donate to Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition (TWRC)