Patriotic bird spreads its wings at Chehaw

Maverick the red-shouldered hawk made his first public flight on Wednesday in honor of the Fourth of July

/ Colby Gallagher

Chehaw Zoo unveiled a very patriotic bird on Wednesday in honor of the Fourth of July.

Visitors were able to meet Maverick, a red-shouldered hawk who is a cousin of the bald eagle .

Maverick dropped out of his nest and ended up in the hands of the game warden at the marine base who turned it over to the Department of Natural Resources to decide where he belonged.

"They asked us at Chehaw if we would like to raise him and use him for an education bird so that we can use him to teach school children all over the state about birds of prey," said Chehaw Zoo Education Coordinator, Jackie Entz.

Maverick took his first flight in front of an audience during a small Fourth of July animal demonstration that included a baby alligator, turtles and more.