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Disoriented hawk is rescued from downtown Santa Barbara store

A disoriented hawk was rescued from a downtown Santa Barbara store when it flew in but was not able to fly out.

It happened Monday in Samy’s camera on State Street downtown.

A customer alerted the staff that a hawk was in the entrance way which has two levels.

They quickly put up a tarp to keep the bird from flying into the main portion of the store.

Efforts by the Wildlife Care Network to catch the bird failed because of the high ceiling. A request for help came in the form of a tall ladder from the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Firefighter Phil Faulding and Jim Hurnblad from Wildlife care took sides and cornered the bird, then capturing it.

The red-tailed hawk was inspected, found to be in good health and released outside away from the businesses.

Faulding says he has been involved in an owl rescue inside the Arlington Theater but when it came to this hawk in the photo store the fire department had to “wing it.”

Wildlife officials say having a hawk in the area is rare and their main food source is elsewhere. They believe it was a juvenile and just starting to head out for food on its own.

Samy’s at times gets songbirds that fly in from outside on the nearby trees but those birds eventually make it back out the front door.

As expected, staff members were quick to grab cameras and get the bird rescue memory with video and still shots.

For more information about the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network go to

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