EAST LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- It was an unusual sight after an injured white hawk was found in a resident’s backyard in East Longmeadow.
Moved by seeing the hawk injured, one 7-year-old boy decided to step up and raise money to help the rehab center where the hawk is recovering.
“I’ve been working on building bird houses for Tom Ricardi,” said Blake Hanson of East Longmeadow.
Hanson, 7, has been busy at work alongside his brother and dad.
About a month ago, a white hawk was found injured in a neighbor's backyard. It was later taken by Tom Ricardi, the founder of the Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehab Center.
Blake’s dad, Rob Hanson, told Western Mass News that the neighbors who found the white hawk started a lemonade and bake sale, which raised money for the rehab center.
“Blake was inspired by that to do something different. Blake’s always been very interested in birds and he's built several bird houses that we have here and for family members,” Rob Hanson explained.
So far, the Hanson family has raised over $800.
“Each bird house is being sold for $15. We have had a lot of people who have made some donations above the amount of the bird house, which has been a huge help,” Rob Hanson noted.
All the proceeds of the birdhouses are going to Ricardi. He told Western Mass News over the phone that in his 50 years in the business, he has only seen one other white hawk.
In this incident, Ricardi believes the hawk was hit on the road. The hawk has been checked out by a vet and he said there could be a long road to recovery.
“The prognosis is kind of 50/50 if he will be able to be released back to the wild,” Ricardi explained.
Blake, who has always had an interest in birds of prey, said when he grows up, he would like to work with animals.
“I think I want to just be a normal vet or be working at a birds of prey rehab center.
Ricardi said he is touched to have a young boy step forward and contribute to his rehab center.
“Very rarely do I get a boy or girl that would sacrifice his time and make bird houses or any other item and then then try to sell it and give me proceeds back to me for food for birds,” Riccardi added.