February 15, 2011

Hawk Release Day in Central Park and Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn

Rehabilitators Bobby and Cathy Horvath contacted me this past weekend to inform me that 5 juvenile hawks that have been in rehab over the winter were ready to be released. The young Red-tail that had crashed into the New York Times Building was to be released as well as the one that was trapped in an air shaft at the Equinox Gym on 85th Street and 3rd avenue in Manhattan. 3 other hawks (two more Red-tails and one Red-shouldered Hawk) collected from various places in Brooklyn were to be released as well. They decided the weather was right this past Monday, Valentine's Day, to release 3 Red-tails in Central Park, just south of Belvedere Castle, and another Red-tail and one Red-shoulder would be released in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Horvath friend and bird enthusiast Rosemarie Bria had the honor of releasing the first hawk, the juvenile male that crashed into the New York Times building a few weeks back.

This hawk only made it about 50 feet before it landed on the ground and got its bearings. After a few minutes on the ground it regrouped and took off over Cedar Hill.

The next hawk was released by another Horvath friend and bird photographer Murray Head. This hawk made it to the safety of an Oak Tree before taking off over the Great Lawn.

The third Hawk was released by a Central Park Conservancy member. This hawk also headed North towards the Great Lawn as well.

The next stop was Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Greenwood is an ideal spot for for releasing hawks, it has 486 acres of green space loaded with trees, shrubs, 2 lakes and pond, and no tall buildings in site. It is a very unique environment within the city and definitely worth visiting for a wildlife or history enthusiast. When we arrived we met up with Rob Jett and Marge Raymond, both hardcore birders that follow various hawks nests in Greenwood and Prospect Park. Rob has been birding and blogging in NYC for many years now, and his blog is a great place to learn about all things nature in NYC. Marge does tours of Greenwood Cemetery year round that are of natural and historical value, and her knowledge of the inhabitants of the cemetery made it a delightful visit.

Marge would get the honors of releasing the first hawk, a juvenile male Red-tail. This is Marge's first hawk release, but she handled it like a pro.

Within seconds of its release, both resident Red-tails Junior and Big Mama appeared to inspect the cemeteries newest inhabitant. After a quick look they could tell this juvenile was no threat, so they went about the business of protecting their territory and repairing their old nest.

 Big Mama saying hello
Big Mama in flight

I had the honor of releasing the next bird, the juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk. This bird was found injured in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, and kept in a bathtub for three days before the rescuer realized he couldn't properly care for it. It was turned over to Animal Control in Brooklyn, who passed it along to Bobby and Cathy for proper long-term care.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think there are more rats in town for these birds then in Green-wood. Why place so many raptors in the only bird sanctuary in Brooklyn? If you cared fot the birds you would have released them into a forest.