Kathryn Dudeck: Hawk Hero

by Andrea Greengard

Meet Kathryn Dudeck, Hawk Hero. Her actual title is Wildlife Director at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. However, she is also the go-to “bird person” in Medlock Park, a nearly 40 acre neighborhood located in unincorporated DeKalb County Georgia.

Video credit goes to Matt Maguire (former Medlock Park resident)

One day in June in 2014, a resident of Medlock noticed an injured redtail hawk in the middle of one the neighborhood streets and eventually helped corral a wounded female red-tailed hawk.

Luckily, neighbor Kathryn Dudek is the Wildlife Director at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. . With the help of other neighbors, the hawk was rescued and handed off the Dudeck who transported the hawk to the wildlife center for evaluation and rehabilitation.

Kathryn Dudeck

Kathryn Dudeck releasing a red tailed hawk in Medlock Park (Decatur Georgia)

The hawk had a fracture to its right radius and ulna, and additional punctures to its right thigh. Thanks to Dudeck and the Chattahoochee Nature Center, approximately 2 months later, the hawk returned to its home in Medlock Park.

Much to the delight of a large group of neighbors, Dudeck released the hawk one afternoon near the pavilions and baseball fields in the neighborhood park. As you can see from the video, she let everyone who came to watch the release get a close up look at the hawk. She also gave a brief educational talk and answered some questions as the neighborhood watched Dudeck hold the rehabilitated hawk. As the video shows, Dudeck releases the hawk, who immediately (as well as strongly and confidently) flies off to proudly perch in a high pine tree overlooking the park while Dudeck and the onlooking crowd cheered.

More About Medlock Park

Medlock Park (the neighborhood where Kathryn Dudeck lives), a nearly 40 acre neighborhood in DeKalb County, Georgia. It features athletic fields, tennis courts, a recreation center, a playground, a swimming pool, picnic areas and walking trails. Like many other neighborhoods in Decatur Georgia, it has a true “community feel”. Most people who live there wave to other people who live there even if they don’t know their name.

As the years pass and residents move away from Medlock Park, most of them still consider themselves connected to it. (In fact, the person who wrote this article states that with certainly, because, as you see, I lived in Medlock Park for over 10 years. Even though I relocated to another area of Decatur, I still feel the twangs of home when it pops into my mind.) You can learn more about Medlock Park on the MANA website

More About the Chattahoochee Nature Center

Kathryn Dudeck is the Wildlife Director at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, located in Roswell, Georgia. The Chattahoochee Nature Center is a private, non-profit nature center located on the Chattahoochee River. It is a beautiful area comprised of 127 acres of native plants and gardens that showcase the natural beauty of Georgia. The center offers hands-on exhibits that featuring live non-releasable native wildlife, a river boardwalk, walking trails and wildlife walks. The entire location is home to over 50 species of wildlife.

For almost 40 years, this The Chattahoochee Nature Center has continued to grow. It offers citizens a place to explore new ideas and expand their awareness of the natural world. The center also offers canoe trips, birthday parties, school programs, scout programs, group tours, and private rental facilities. They also offer different types of membership packages, sponsorship options, and volunteer opportunities.  To learn more about the Chattahoochee Nature Center, in general, you can visit their website.

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