MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A rescued Cooper’s Hawk is back home in the wild Thursday after being released in Surfside following a remarkable journey of survival.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber was on hand to release the young hawk back into the wild.

The orphaned nestling was found on the ground at Normandy Shores Golf Course in Miami Beach on May 16. His parents and nest couldn’t be located, so he was raised at the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station with five other orphaned Cooper’s Hawks.



Experts there say Cooper’s Hawks are one of the most common raptor species in South Florida because they nest here year-round and don’t migrate through like other hawk species.

With 49 admissions, the species is the fifth most common native bird treated at the seabird station in 2018.

Cooper’s Hawk released back into the wild in Surfside on July 25, 2019. (Courtesy: Pelican Harbor Seabird Station)

When it was about a month old, it was transferred to the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center for flight conditioning and live prey training. This kind of training helps develop their flight muscles and determines whether they can hunt and survive in the wild.

Two additional orphaned Cooper’s Hawks, raised at the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station and trained at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, were also released Thursday.

One in Miami Gardens and a second one in Surfside.