Friday, July 27, 2012

Another update on the baby hawks

The Department of Health has increased targeted baiting for rats throughout Manhattan and the Bronx. The poison is ingested indirectly by hawks who eat poisoned rats. Pictured, a baiting station.

About the ailing baby hawks, here's an article from an Internet publication called sent to me by Murray Head. -

CENTRAL PARK — Another of famed red-tailed hawk Pale Male's babies was taken to a Long Island treatment center to be tested for rat poisoning Thursday, a day after blood tests revealed its sibling had poison in his system.
Parks Department Ranger Rob Mastrianni snared the fledgling Thursday morning and took it to a Long Island-based volunteer animal rescue treatment center run by Cathy Horvath and her husband Bobby Horvath, where the bird was set to undergo tests, a Parks Department spokesman said.
Cathy Horvath grabbed the first hawk baby from a tree near the American Museum of Natural History Sunday, with the help of local birder Lincoln Karim. Blood tests on that bird confirmed Wednesday that it suffered from rat poisoning and was anemic, Cathy Horvath said.
"Hold on tight my little friend," Karim wrote on his website "That nasty poison you got inside your precious body is strong but no poison made by man is stronger than your will to live."
"Too many people love you and want you to live so you’re going to make it through this. Your father and mother’s power and love is inside you to help you make it."
Horvath started the first bird on a regimen of vitamin K injections and other detox treatments immediately, and reached out to the Parks Department for help capturing the second sibling which was spotted on a tree near the Metropolitan Museum of Art Wednesday.
"We will treat [the first bird] for at least 10 days and if it survives, release back where he came from," Horvath wrote Wednesday night. "Some animals can show initial improvement only to bleed out later depending on the amount of toxin ingested," she added.
She said that the birds would face as much danger in the suburbs of Long Island as in Central Park, because of rat poison on golf courses and elsewhere.
Horvath spotted the second sibling in the tree Sunday, but it was too high to reach. Bird fans kept an eye on it through the week, saying they noticed it was acting sluggish and appeared to have symptoms of poisoning.
Philip Abramson, Parks Department spokesman, said the second bird "appeared to be lethargic" when it was captured.
The Parks Department no longer uses rat poison in Riverside Park, Central Park or the areas around the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the American Museum of Natural History, where the sickened hawks were found. They did not say how they thought the birds were poisoned.
Horvath said Wednesday that she believed the sickened birds ate a rat that had consumed poison.
On Wednesday, birders placed a small tub with water near the branch where the second baby was perched and it eventually came down and drank a little and cooled off, said avid bird watcher Kevin Sisco, who was relieved the baby was being taken for treatment.
"It was especially sad to watch [the sick hawk], because the problem was caused by us," Sisco said, adding that he worried the hawk would have died without care. He added that he was surprised to see the bird alone for so long, with no visit from parents Pale Male or Zena, who he has seen feed the fledglings in the past.

PS from Marie: My post yesterday was not completely accurate. The above article provides the basic facts.

PPS The complete name of the Horvaths' organization is Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation [WINORR]

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Recent update on the baby hawk

Baby hawk taking a bath while undergoing rehabilitation. Photo courtesy of

Yesterday Murray Head sent me an update on the situation of the baby hawk currently being treated by Cathy St. Pierre, a wildlife rehabilitator [see yesterday's post]:

Dear Marie,

I understand that the young hawk in Cathy's care is feeling better.
Which is great news... I am so deeply appreciative of what Cathy and Bobby do as the most dedicated wildlife rehabilitators.

I hope it will be released in a place other than Central Park where it will not re-exposed.

Getting to help the other sick young hawk is a problem as he is currently perched out of reach. But the problem could get a lot worse.: Read this current news report:

"The Rats are back with a vengeance on the upper West Side"

At that meeting, solutions for dealing with the rat problem should be proposed only if they are not harmful to other Central Park wildlife . Poison (even the legal kind) should be considered only as an absolute last resort, that is, only if all other methods fail to control the problem. This meeting must be attended by as many concerned conservationists as possible.

As I understand it there are both legal and illegal kinds of rat poison, the latter posing a much greater threat to the wildlife, pets and children.
It is important to inform people that many of these poisons pose a threat to dogs and children. This information should serve to galvanize others who are not particularly focused on the hawks.


PS--A part of Cathy's report on her hawk patient's condition:
Our little feathered friend is being a trooper . He is eating well and is being a very good patient . He is positive for poison [ie, poison has been found in preliminary blood tests - mw] and is now on at least 10 days of medication. I am waiting for more test results which could mean a months worth of treatments

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Baby Hawks -- Sad News

7/23/12 [yesterday] one of the two sick babies. Photo courtesy of

Wildlife photographer and friend Murray Head just sent me the following news about two of the three baby hawks that hatched late last April and early May in Pale Male's historic nest on Fifth Avenue:

Dear Marie,

Two are sick.

See Lincoln's statement on his site. []

One good thing is one of the babies is with Cathy Horvath [a wildlife rehabilitator - mw] and she says
the baby is being cared for and treated. They are waiting for a report on
The blood work.

Sorry to be the bearer of sad news but I thought you should know.


PS from Marie:

According to Lincoln Karim [Be sure you check out the site for important details] rat poison placed on the outskirts of the park by one of the local museums or by the management of buildings on the park's perimeter is the culprit. We should have confirmation of this from blood tests soon. A public outcry thereafter will undoubtedly make a difference for the fate of future Central Park wildlife. More about this soon.