This morning I looked up to see a raptor struggling on the fence. It was a merlin, and it was flapping and thrashing on the second rail up. At first I thought it was killing its prey, but it was soon obvious that it was stuck and trying to escape.
We built the rail fence, but the neighbors lined their side of it with chicken wire in an attempt to contain their undisciplined dog. The hawk had one of its feet caught in the wire.
While my housemate phoned the local raptor rescue society, I went out with a blanket. I hoped to cover the bird with the blanket so it would calm down. I thought its struggles might injure it.
Luckily, in the time it took me to get out of the house, the merlin managed to get itself out of the wire. All that remained was a trace of blood and a few feathers on the fence. I folded the blanket and came back inside.