Hawk Finds Refuge from Hurricane Harvey in Taxi Cab

Posted by Daphne Cybele
hurricane hawk
Photo: Screenshot from William Bruso YouTube 

As Hurricane Harvey bore down on Texas, a bird of prey took shelter from the storm in an unusual way.

A Cooper's hawk flew in the window of William Bruso's taxi cab as high winds blew and a low pressure front moved into the city in advance of the storm. The Cooper's hawk, dubbed Harvey the Hurricane Hawk, or Taxi Hawk, rode out the storm Friday night with his taxi driver, and is now recovering at the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition (TWRC) and Wildlife Center in Houston, Texas.

hurricane hawk
Photo: Screenshot from William Bruso YouTube 

This Taxi Hawk Went for a Ride

William uploaded a video of the hawk in his cab on the passenger seat after it flew through his car window. The hawk perches on a seat and on the dashboard, and on William's gloved hand. He is free to go, but he clearly decided to take refuge in the safest spot he could find, and he stuck with William for the trip to William's home where he perched on the bar and watched hurricane updates on television.

William even managed to feed him appropriate hawk food (no easy feat!), seen in several video updates over the night.

"It was a very cool experience. I felt very honored that [the hawk] chose to hunker down with me -- and was so well-behaved, better behaved than my cousins who come here and wreak havoc," Bruso the cab driver told the New York Post


A state and federally licensed rehabilitator and permitted TWRC volunteer picked Harvey the Hurricane Hawk up the next day and took him to the wildlife rescue.

taxi hawk
Photo: Screenshot from William Bruso YouTube 

Recovery in the Aftermath of the Storm

TWRC reports that Harvey the hawk likely has a broken leg, and would not have been able to survive on his own in the storm. TWRC is waiting for the floodwaters to recede in order to get Harvey in for an x-ray to determine the full extent of an injury that prevents him from flying.

hurricane hawk
Photo: Screenshot from William Bruso YouTube 

Cooper's hawks are medium size (typically about the size of a blue jay or a dove) birds of prey. They are extremely fast in comparison to other hawks of similar size, flying between approximately 15 mph and up to 60 mph in chase of their prey.

Cooper's Hawks are not normally a friendly bird. Harvey was clearly in need of help and he found just the right spot to get the assistance he needed during the Texas hurricane. May everyone else in this catastrophic tropical storm be so lucky.

See Harvey in the TWRC video and for updates, check out the TWRC Facebook page as he recovers in the Texas wildlife rehab center.

Have you had an unusual wildlife experience? Let us know in the comments below! 

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