Thursday, March 08, 2012

Another Red-tailed Hawk Found Dead in Central Park and Good-bye to the Norfolk Botanical Eagles


Photo courtesy of

 Zena, Pale Male's new mate, flies with dinner.  Let's hope she isn't partial to NYC rats.  

We do not know what killed Pale Male's mate Ginger Lima, nor do we know what happened to the most recent Red-tail found dead in the south end of Central Park on Sunday, but as I'm told both were found unblemished the suspicion of death by poison rackets up a notch.  Yes perhaps there might have been totally different causes of death that made both the hawks drop dead but it does raise more suspicion about poison.

Though we often put singular blame on New York City's parks for using rat poison, and the ensuing deaths of many other creatures which consume rats or carrion, keep in mind that many city buildings also place rat bait as well and some of those poisoned rats kill other creatures as well, including raptors.  They don't just hunt in the parks.  I've seen them take prey off streets with no green space in sight..

Whether the latest hawk deaths were by poison or not, past deaths have been  and we know rats are actually controlled by careful methodical sanitation not the supposed quick fix of poison.

New York City would go a long way in the  reduction of secondary poisoning, not just of Red-tailed Hawks but also beloved pets and sometimes even children by passing laws which require garbage to be put out on the street for pick up in rat proof containers.

Does your building lay rat bait? Find out. Talk to your neighbors about  better alternatives.  Or in the phrase used by many many different people over many many years who try to change entrenched but no-brainer unenlightened behavior-

 Educate, Agitate, Organize!

From the New York Times City Room Blogs

March 5, 2012, 4:54 pm

Red-Tailed Hawk Found Dead in Central Park

A red-tailed hawk was found dead in Central Park on Sunday, a week after the body of Lima — a companion of the much-watched red-tail Pale Male — was discovered under a tree.

A parks department spokeswoman said the hawk found Sunday was at the south end of the park, near Columbus Circle. It was not immediately clear whether it was a male or a female. Hawk-watchers say there had been a nest outside the park, not far from where the dead hawk was retrieved by Central Park Conservancy staff members, but it was not clear whether the dead hawk was one of the pair from that nest.

Read More..

   From Sally of Kentucky, regarding the plight of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens Eagles--
What next, are they going to cut trees, or otherwise prevent eagles from nesting in the area? Are they going to poison them? Shoot or trap them? what about the hundreds of shorebirds in  the area and geese? Very sad...!/groups/47037033923/
Julie Bonner
SAD NEWS for all fans:
Today I received a short letter from Senator Mark Warner, responding to my email to him outlining my fears for the Eagle nest at NBG. On my behalf he must have written to Norfolk Airport because he enclosed a copy of a letter dated Feb 26, 2012, which they sent back to him regarding my complaints. The letter does NOT look good for the eagles!! Sr. Warner also enclosed a copy of a letter dated Feb 3, 2012, that was signed by US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Dept of Agriculture, and VGDIF and addressed to The City Mgr of Norfolk (Marcus D. Jones). This letter is 3 pages long and I have not read its entirety yet - but here is what page.3 says :

"We strongly recommend that the City of Norfolk move forward by requesting the appropriate permit to enable the removal of the bald eagles nests at NBG, as outlined in the Airport's Wildlife Hazard Management Plan and requested the Airport in correspondence to the Garden in Nov 2011. The continued presence of the nests there is a liability and poses a significant risk to public safety and the safety of the eagles. Please note that the public safety threat goes beyond those on the aircraft to people living and working in the vicinity of the airport."

"A first step in this process is the application by the City (as landowner) to the USFWS for a permit that allows for the removal of the nest. To expedite this process, a copy of the application is enclosed for your use." 
"The DGIF also has a role in authorizing the nest removal, since the bald eagle is currently designated as a state threatened species. Ms. Becky Gwynn, regional Assistant Bureau Director for DGIF, will coordinate with your office as in that regard."

"We recognize that there are other attractants for eagles around the Airport, and are working with the operations staff there to develop a more comprehensive eagle management plan to discourage eagles from nesting on properties adjacent to the Airport. We also appreciate the educational opportunity that the EagleCam has provided to the public for so many years and are certainly interested in working with the City or other partners to provide similar opportunities at another, more safe location".

"If you have any questions or need more information, please feel to contact Scott Barras, USDA-Ws, at (804) 739-7739 or via email at or Becky Gwynn at (804) 829-6720 or via email at


Donegal Browne


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, a third hawk has now been found dead. Sadly, it appears this hawk is the female that was resident to Riverside Park. Last year, she was forced to raise her eyases alone after her mate died after eating a poisoned rat.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, a third hawk has now been found dead. Sadly, it appears this hawk is the female that was resident to Riverside Park. Last year, she was forced to raise her eyases alone after her mate died after eating a poisoned rat.