A young hawk made his home in Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Pembroke for several days after flying into the store on Old Church Street late last week. On Monday, it made its escape.
A young hawk that took up residence in Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse for several days is back in the wild today.
Company officials say the bird, a female Cooper’s hawk, flew into the store on Old Church Street on Thursday or Friday. Late Monday afternoon, a state environmental worker coaxed the bird out of the rafters and into a more natural habitat: the outdoors.
The bird of prey, built for fast flight through the forest, appeared unsure as to how to get out of the giant store and spent days traveling from rafter to rafter. “It’s just been flying back and forth,” store manager Jay Worrell said before the hawk made its escape Monday. “It’s just captivating. You don’t get to see stuff like that every day.”
The state worker lured the hawk out of the store with a gray rag, meant to look like a meal to the bird.
“The guy put the rag on a 20-foot string and walked with it on the floor. The rag ... was about the size of a squirrel,” store manager Adam Briggs said today.
Worrell said he’s seen smaller birds, including sparrows, flying in through the open doors at Lowe’s. But this is the first time he’s seen a hawk take up residence.
Lowe’s has a no-kill policy for birds and works with professionals to remove them safely from its stores, said spokesperson Chris Ahearn. Because Cooper’s hawks are federally protected, the company took extra precautions with its Pembroke visitor.
Worrell said the experts spent four hours trying to remove the hawk on Friday and got it into a net. But, at the last minute, it escaped again.
During its visit, the hawk spent most of its time in the back of the store, near the quieter lumber and receiving areas. But, in the late afternoon, Worrell said, it moved to the front of the store. At night, it swept back and forth from the tool department to the garden center.
“A lot of kids have been pretty happy with seeing such a beautiful creature in an environment like this as opposed to its natural environment,” Worrell said. “You just never know what’s going to come through your door.”
Sydney Schwartz is at email@example.com.