As a juvenile, Grafton suffered from a collision with an unknown object (likely a vehicle) in Grafton, New Hampshire. He was taken to a rehabilitator in Lyme, New Hampshire. In addition to a fractured wing and a fractured toe, Grafton also had a fractured and misaligned beak. This made it impossible for him to tear food, which is necessary for any wild raptor, so he was declared non-releasable and came to VINS to live as an exhibit bird in 2007.
For years, our rehabilitation staff carefully cut Grafton’s food into bite-sized pieces. After seven years in our care, Grafton’s misaligned beak finally healed, and today he can eat normally. Grafton will always be non-releasable because his many years at VINS have left him fully habituated to humans. Our rehabilitators continue to carefully monitor his beak at his biannual health checkups, in case the misalignment ever returns.
The Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation feeds mice, rat, and pieces of rabbit to Grafton and our other broad-winged hawks. During the coldest months, the broad-wings live indoors because they do not tolerate Vermont’s winters well.