Wednesday, July 27, 2022

One of the Tompkins Square hawk fledglings rescued by park ranger today

There's troubling news out of Tompkins Square Park, where one of the red-tailed hawk fledglings had to be rescued earlier this evening.

The hawk was found perched on a fire escape with its eyes closed and looking weak.

Its appearance was much more concerning than just a normal afternoon nap. Unfortunately, we've seen this look before and it is not a good sign.

The hawk remained mostly motionless while observers contacted the NYC Urban Park Rangers for assistance.

In this photo, the hawk looks like it's stretching, but it's actually struggling to balance on the rail, and you can see it is resting its upper body on its talons. The wing that appears to be stretching is actually drooping. The hawk's head feathers are ruffled as it is stressed.

The hawk became so weak, it sat down on the platform of the fire escape.

This face breaks my heart.

Sergeant Dan of the Urban Park Rangers arrived and quickly assessed the situation. In the photo below, he checks on the hawk from the window and the hawk didn't react to his presence.

Using a net, Dan quickly caught the hawk, who did not resist.

Removing the hawk from the net:

A closer look shows blood dripping from the hawk's mouth. I am speculating the hawk has rodenticide poisoning, but we will not know for certain until tests are done.

A volunteer took the hawk to Wild Bird Fund on the Upper West Side, and we are currently waiting for an update. When we know anything, we'll post it here.

As the fledgling was being rescued, its sibling soared overhead, making a couple of circles, then flying over Avenue A. There is now just one fledgling of the original three in the park.
This latest misfortune follows the loss of a fledgling on July 4. We are still awaiting the official cause of death, but the initial report was it most likely suffered from frounce, which comes from eating infected doves or other birds.

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