Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Steve Bank's Red-tail Incident on Broadway Continued- And What To Do With a Downed Hawk?

Photo by Steve Banks
Photo taken, 2:24:58PM
To recap- Good Citizen Steve Banks was on his way to a business appointment when he saw a Red-tailed hawk fly into a window, 4 or 5 stories up, and then come down on the sidewalk. He then went inside a building and asked that the police be called in hopes of getting some Park folks to come take a look

A momentary time out for those who are new to Red-tailed Hawks, you will note that yes this is a Red-tailed Hawk, but there is no red tail. Why? That is because this guy is a juvenile with a juvenile's brown tail. He'll get a red one when he molts. Also note the light eyes. Mature Red-tails have dark brown eyes and it takes them about 4 years to graduallly get that way.

Now back to our hawk incident...

Photo by Steve Banks
Photo taken 2:28:18PM About 3 minutes has passed since the previous photo so Window Smacker appears to be pulling himself together rather well so far.

This being Manhattan, a crowd had gathered to take pictures of Window Smacker. Not a terribly bad thing as long as distance is kept, as they surround what is likely a human habituated hawk with people who know he is there so he's not accidentally trodden on by someone who is busy texting.

By the time Good Citizen Steve had to hustle off to his appointment, no officials had arrived to check on young hawk but he'd pulled himself together and as Steve was leaving he saw Window Smacker take to his wings, get some elevation, and perch on another building so all was likely, we hope, well.

In this case, all's well that ends well, but what to do if a hawk sits stunned for a long period, is obviously grounded, or if there are signs of injury?

One can call the police but they often have bigger fish to fry, can take awhile getting there and possibly arrive without the kind of container that doesn't damage feathers, or the Parks Department who may or may not have anyone available to help that moment and you don't want to leave the hawk just sitting there...

The two best options in New York City (variations of similar in other cities could apply--

But wait, first we'll take a moment to discuss the federal laws pertaining to wild native birds. Do not let anyone tell you it is illegal to touch a protected bird no matter what. Poppycock. Wild animals in the U.S. are considered to be owned by the people of the U.S. And no you can't just take an owl home and keep it in your shower. But if you see an animal in jeopardy, a fledgling hawk standing in the middle of the street for instance. You are completely within your rights to herd the bird out of the street or run over grab her by the ankles (the talons being the dangerous part), snuggle her to your body, head up, beak out. and hustle her off the road. Being undamaged you then take her to a safe place, perhaps the park she was attempting to get to in the first place, and put her in a spot she can branch from into trees, and release her.

As for an obviously injured or grounded hawk there are two good options. You can throw a jacket over the hawk, do the ankle grab, and take her to the nearest rehabber. Or in NYC you can take her to the Animal Medical Center on the Eastside, tell the folks where you found her and have them call wonder rehabbers, Cathy and Bobby Horvath, out in Long Island.

So, you aren't into hawk tarsi grabbing and neither are the people beside you who are staring at the downed bird? Try giving NYC Audubon a call. In fact NYC Audubon got so many of these calls in the past that they organized the New York City Raptor Group. Major hawk watchers and caregivers from many neighborhoods have banded together to come to the aid of urban raptors and NYC Audubon knows which watchers are in what neighborhoods and will try to get someone there as rapidly as possible.

If you are using this option and you get a machine, be sure to give a phone number where you can be reached and the location of the injured hawk.

Then as you've been wary of tarsi grabbing it is your job to either wait with the bird to keep it safe or find someone else who is gawking and who has time to wait for help to do it.

And there it is for today.


Donegal Browne

Monday, October 31, 2011

Red Tail Hawk incident at Broadway and W 56th

Hi Donegal,

I was at the northwest corner of Broadway and W 56th yesterday (Friday, D.B.) afternoon at approx 2:20 pm. I witnessed a red tail hawk crash into the plate glass window of the building at about the 4th or 5th floor. It fell to my feet on the sidewalk. I was the only person who saw the incident happen. Others gathered around the stunned bird. I went into the building to ask the desk attendant to call the police so that perhaps a Parks Dept person, etc could respond. no one came.

In about ten minutes the bird gathered itself together and flew off. I was walking away by then as I had a business apptt, but I did see it rise up to another building in Broadway.

I have two photos I can share with you if you would like.

If you would like the images, let me know, and if the images are of interest to others, let me know

Regards, Steve Banks, Rockville Centre NY


Thank you for the update and please do send on the images. Did you happen to notice if the hawk had an adult's red tail or a juvenile's brown one?
Best, D