Connecticut State Police on lookout for birds "jaywalking" on highways

 

Hawk in Connecticut

 

It’s been quite a week for the Connecticut State Police.  A homicide investigation, manhunts, DUI checkpoints, motor vehicle accidents.  But there is one story that put feather in troopers’ hats on social media:  A post on their Facebook page about a hawk walking on I-91 in Cromwell earlier this week.  The post on the Connecticut State Police’s Facebook page got over 1,000 shares and more than 320 comments.  Along with publishing photos of the hawk on the side of the highway, the pun-laden post took flight, triggering a flock of comments.  It read: “Troopers, Connecticut Department of Transportation service patrol and Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police flocked to the area of I-91 north near exit 21 to provide some assistance to a hawk strolling along the shoulder.  Luckily things didn’t take a turn for the worse and we were able to take the hawk under our wing and protect it from the cars flying by.  No fowl play is suspected in this case - DEEP will be providing further assistance.”  The hawk, which did survive, was taken by Cromwell Animal Control to recover.  Days later, state police used the hawk story to get out a highway safety message. Using a photo of the hawk walking down the highway, Trooper Tyler Weerden, who is the state police’s social media specialist, created a graphic titled “Hawk’s Corner. Winging Good Information Your Way.” It answered the question:  “recently saw a hawk on the highway and couldn’t help but wonder if any laws were broken?”  After saying no laws were broken “just a few ruffled feathers,” it listed want is not allowed on the highway, like pedestrians, Segways, golf carts and “shenanigans.”  The post, again, received a number comments and likes including one from Eva MariaPuo:  “I have to say you guys are managing this page very well.  You find creative and funny ways to get message across.  Kudos to your social media rep!”  Many other people are also noticing.  In the last year, state police have greatly expanded their presence on social media with 19,962 followers on Twitter and 44,674 likes onFacebook.  And, the bird stories keep on coming.  On Saturday morning, Weerden posted on the state police Facebook page another bird walking on the side of the interstate highway.  “Not sure what's going on this week but now we have owls hanging out on the highway, 84 E X31 in Southington.  Animal control is en route. Hawk...owl...what's next?”

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