Adak, the reddish-brown hawk taken from his perch at River Bend Park is Fairfax County Wednesday, was returned Saturday afternoon, well-fed, slightly confused and in a new home-made cage, according to park authorities.
Police and park authorities said they don't have any idea who took the bird.Park naturalist Gary Johnston said the birdnappers or nappers "evidently had a very strong interest in the bird."
Adak was dropped off in the park parking lot between 3 and 4 p. m. Johnston said, in " a newly constructed cage," of chicken wire and wood. "It was very well done. Somebody put a lot of effort in making the cage."
Meanwhile, park authorities received numerous calls from concerned citizens who found birds on the Capital Beltway and other places and thought it was Adak. Two park rangers and two explorer scouts combed the area for the missing hawk, Johnston said.
Reports last week that Adak could die if he were not given a special calcium-rich diet or nice and rodents prompted a call from Fairfax man who had found an injured hawk like Adak while rabbit hunting a month ago. He dicovered he was feeding the bird the wrong food, Johnston said.
Adak has been mascot at the center since it was brought there three years ago with a gunshot wound in its left wing, Johnston said. About half or its wing was amputated, leaving it unable to fly long distances.
Adak, who is a little larger than a crow, had been attached to a metal ring that was secured to a 15-pound pole placed in a pipe in the ground. When Johnston arrived at work Wednesday the pole had been pulled out.
Johnston said Adak will be put back on his outdoor perch probably next week. Because of his ordeal last week Johnston said for the next few days he'll keep Adak inside to readjust."
About two years ago a crow was taken from the park's nature center, which also houses toads, fish, lizards and a snake. The bird was later returned, but died hree weeks later, Johnston said.