Museum Minute: Isham The Red Tailed Hawk

May 4, 2020

Isham
Credit Draper Natural History Museum

The Draper Museum Raptor Experience will be 10 years old in 2021. In honor of its anniversary, Museum Minutes are featuring the 11 raptors in the program. The Raptor Experience is a live raptor education program that shares the region's wild animals with visitors to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Isham, the red tailed hawk, was hit by a car and suffered damage to his right eye, which had to be removed.

Melissa Hill, the live raptor program manager, said it’s hard for red tailed hawks to survive in the wild with one eye because they lose depth perception. 

“It's hard to catch mice and snakes and small things like they like to eat. So sometimes they can survive with that,” said Hill. “But Isham also has a lot of damage to the one eye he still has. So he doesn't see very well at all. And that's why we have to take care of him because he doesn't have the vision to be able to fly safely or to hunt successfully.”

Hill said Isham is known as the gentlemen of the group. 

“He has a great attitude. He's easygoing. And the human girls tend to fight over getting to work with him because he's so devastatingly handsome. And he's just fun to work with,” she said.