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Hawk Found Dead in Madison Square Park

By Mary Johnson | January 4, 2013 7:51am

FLATIRON — The new year got off to a tragic start for one winged visitor to Madison Square Park.

On Jan. 1, staff members from the Madison Square Park Conservancy found a dead hawk on the park's west side, said a city Parks Department spokesman.

The hawk appeared to be a juvenile, and it wasn’t immediately clear whether it was male or female, the spokesman added.

It also remained uncertain whether the hawk that was found dead was the same creature that has been spotted regularly around Madison Square Park, perched on public art installations or enjoying midday snacks on park benches.

Numerous visitors had recently spotted a red-tailed hawk hanging around the popular Flatiron park. One posted a photo of the bird to the conservancy’s Facebook page, while another shot video of the hawk ripping into a dead pigeon on a park bench.

Last summer, the blog Mad Park News, which first posted unconfirmed reports of the hawk’s death Wednesday, ran photographs of the hawk sitting atop the brightly colored, undulating pipes artist Charles Long erected in the park as part of his exhibition “Pet Sounds.”

The Parks Department said the hawk's body has been sent to the State Department of Environmental Conservation so that a necropsy can be performed to determine the cause of death.

The Madison Square Park Conservancy did not respond to requests for comment about the hawk.