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by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Shanera Touch, right, releases a Cooper Hawk at Nadaka Nathre Park on Friday, Oct. 18, under the watch of Audubon Society of Portland veterinarian Deb Sheaffer. Touch, a Mt. Hood Community College student, apprenticed at the Audubons facility last summer.The Audubon Society of Portland released two rehabilitated Cooper’s hawks at Nadaka Nature Park in Gresham on Friday, Oct. 18.

Both hawks were found in June and have been raised with an adult Cooper’s hawk that served as a foster parent, said Jim Labbe, an Audubon Society urban conservationist.

When the baby birds were admitted to Audubon’s Wildlife Care Center, one was a weak and dehydrated nestling, or a baby bird that can’t leave the nest. The other had an injured leg and was a fledgling, or a baby bird that has left the nest but can’t yet fly.

The young hawks fully recovered and spent the past few weeks in a large flight cage, where they built up their strength and learned to hunt.

“We’re excited to release the birds at Nadaka, the site of a project we’ve been working on for several years,” Labbe said.

The Audubon has worked closely with Friends of Nadaka Nature Park, which has partnered with many local groups and agencies, to make the heavily wooded area more accessible to the community. Nestled on 10 acres just north of Northeast Glisan Street, it was a hidden gem that the city of Gresham purchased in 1995 through a city open space bond.

For 12 years, it sat fenced with limited access to the north off Northeast 176th Avenue and Pacific Street.

In 2009, funding from Metro and the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District allowed the friends to buy a 2-acre undeveloped parcel between Nadaka to the north and Glisan Street to the south. The acquisition created a key connection, allowing people to walk from Glisan through the 2 acres to access a peaceful walking path that loops through Nadaka’s wooded area.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - A Cooper Hawk is prepared to be released at Nadaka Nature Park on Friday, Oct. 18.Recently, Oregon Parks and Recreation awarded Nadaka a $500,000 grant for its park project, which calls for creating community gardens, an orchard, a rain garden, a natural meadow, restrooms and nature-based play area.

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