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Red-Tailed Hawk Rescued in Lower East Side Recovering, Caregivers Say

By Jack D'Isidoro | February 4, 2016 4:21pm
 An injured red-tailed hawk's journey to medical recovery.
Rescue and Recovery of a Lower East Side Red-Tailed Hawk
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LOWER EAST SIDE — An injured red-tailed hawk rescued in the Two Bridges neighborhood on Monday is making a speedy recovery, its caregivers said.

A seasoned birdwatcher spotted the adult male hawk behaving strangely and contacted Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation (WINORR), a Long Island-based nonprofit that treats not only birds, but foxes, possums, squirrels and groundhogs, to name a few.

“It’s not a business, it’s a way of life,” said Cathy Horvath, a veterinary technician who runs WINORR with her husband, Bobby, a firefighter and licensed wildlife rehabilitator who responded to the call.

In a video taken at the scene, Bobby can be seen carefully netting the hawk before examining it with his bare hands.

“[The hawk] seems out of it, like he crashed into something,” Horvath said. After undergoing an X-ray, none of the bird’s bones appear to be broken.

But “his wing is a little droopy,” said Horvath, who's been hand-feeding pain medication to the animal.

Most of WINORR’s injured birds of prey come from the city, Horvath said.

This time of year, they tend to be adolescent males who haven’t fully developed their hunting skills — or “goofy boys who weren’t listening to their moms,” she said.

Horvath said the hawk will be released where he was originally found once he makes a full recovery. Birdwatchers told her that he has a female partner, and that the pair have recently started a nest.

“I don’t get the luxury of seeing them fly around free...I only see them when they’re broken,” she joked.

Horvath advised anyone who comes across injured wildlife to call a park ranger or report it to the city. The New York City Audubon Society also has a list of animal hospitals and rehabilitation centers it recommends.