Red-Tailed Hawk Released to Hunt in New York City’s Central Park

Story summary:

A red-tailed hawk is released into Central Park following treatment at the Wild Bird Fund after it was found on the sidewalk outside Penn Station bleeding and unconscious.

Full Story:

On a cold, winter afternoon on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, staff at the Wild Bird Fund, a nonprofit that cares for injured wild birds and other animals in New York City, walked over to Central Park with a cardboard box containing a bird of prey.  Their aim was to find the right spot to release a red-tailed hawk that had been in their care since passersby found it bleeding and unconscious on the sidewalk outside of Penn Station late Saturday night on December 7, 2013.

The group of rehabbers, volunteers and a veterinarian initially scoped out a location on the western edge of Central Park near 86th street, but were surprised to find several other hawks were already circling the area and would likely attack the newcomer.  So the avian rescuers moved on to another patch for the release.  They set their precious cargo down on a snow-covered hill, opened the box, and waited.  The male hawk was tentative, startled by the city sounds and put on alert by the rumble of a park vehicle.  The hawk remained in the opened box for several minutes looking in every direction and finally, after feeling secure, taking flight. 

The “chickenhawk” as red-tails are sometimes referred to was found during a Saturday night outing when a man named Mr. Leed and a friend noticed the bird lying on the street on their way to dinner just outside of Penn Station. Two hours later when they came out from the restaurant, they discovered the hawk was still on the sidewalk and was actually bleeding.  They made the trek uptown and bought the injured bird in to the Wild Bird Fund located on 565 Columbus Avenue near 87th street.  The juvenile, one-year old red-tailed hawk (his tail is still brown, not yet red) came in bleeding from the mouth, mostly from the sinuses.  His eyes were closed and he was unable to stand.  Rehabbers gave him Vitamin K injections to help stop the internal bleeding.  After several days he was able to lift his head and make eye contact and within weeks the hawk was fully recovered and ready for release.  The Wild Bird Fund conducts several hundred bird rescue-and-release efforts of this kind each year. 

Tags: red-tailed hawk, animal, rescue, Mansura, urban, nyc, new york, wildlife, nyc wildlife, wild bird fund, Mansura Khanam, 2013, December, hawk, nature, shelter, central park, upper west side, manhattan, newyork region, bird, avian, internal bleeding, rehabilitation, redtail, local, environment, winter, bird of prey, chickenhawk, buteos, raptor

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