(Editor's note - Kevin Zak is the founder of the Naugatuck River Revival Group and has been instrumental in generating awareness of the unique ecosystem that flows directly through Waterbury)
Column By Kevin Zak, Photographs By John Murray
A Red Shouldered Hawk was trapped in the bucket of a cherry picker with water up to its chest. The clock was ticking. How long this raptor was in his watery tomb, or how he got there, was anyone’s guess. The hawk was not going to live through the night. Heavy thunder storms overtook Wolcott the previous week and somehow, bizarrely, this raptor had trapped itself in a narrow bucket and couldn’t spread his broad wings. The sides of the bucket were too steep and there was nothing for him to dig his sharp and powerful talons into so he could climb out. With each day the hawk grew weary and with each new down pour the water got deeper. Without food for days his condition was like a Chinese finger trap - the more he struggled the weaker he became. This magnificent creature was injured, weakened, and about to drown.