Griffin the Ferruginous Hawk joined Wildworks in February 2021. He came to us from Zoo To You Conservation Ambassadors, who much like us try to home as many animals as need homes. Originally a falconry bird that also worked as an ambassador for his species, Griffin retired due to his advanced age. His hatch date was sometime in 2002. The caretakers at Zoo to You felt there were a few animals that could use more attention by being homed at a smaller facility and asked if we would consider giving Griffin a home. We said we would love to be his new home and have enjoyed every second with him since.
Griffin first moved to Arizona with our other birds of prey while we were still looking for our future permanent forever home. While there he enjoyed a spacious mew all to himself, where he could be an animal ambassador for the visitors to the Air BnB.
Once a house was built for him in our beautiful forever home in Coarsegold, California he was the fifth of our birds of prey to make the trek from Cornville back to California. He got straight to work being a part of our educational programs, a fun job in which he sits on our educator’s glove and looks handsome while the education specialist talks about him and his species. He does his job very well.
When not hard at work as an animal ambassador Griffin enjoys watching the “Wildworkers,” our staff and volunteers here, tirelessly cleaning, feeding, and enriching the animals. He makes little “meew” like sounds to people and flies or hops about his enclosure finding the best patch of sun.
The ferruginous hawk is a fascinating species that is native to the North American prairies. The name ferruginous refers to the rust or reddish coloration of their feathers. Living in grasslands they mostly prey upon small rodents such as prairie dogs, gophers, and squirrels. They have extra-large mouths so they can quickly eat their prey before a larger bird of prey (the Golden Eagle) can steal from them. They are the largest hawk species in North America with a wingspan of 53 to 56 inches.