NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An Upper West Side couple is taking precautions, after a hawk came after their dog on the terrace of their building.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, the hawk was once watched in wonder by neighbors on West 72nd Street. But now, the bird is being watched in fear by Nicole and Joshua Lehman and their pet Chihuahua, Picasso.
“It’s been kind of cool until this happened, but now I’m more aware of them,” Nicole Lehman said. “Like now, I know they hang out there, there, and they’re under there.”
When the Lehmans moved to New York more than a decade ago, they did not think they would encounter nature like they did this past week, 1010 WINS’ Samantha Liebman reported.
“We’re from a pretty secluded beach town in Florida where there is a lot of nature,” Joshua Lehman said, “but, you know, definitely not here on the 17th floor. And we’ve been around – the birds came in months ago.”
Nicole Lehman said the hawk was perched on a wooden rooftop water tank when it swooped down to where Picasso – Pico for short – was sitting on their penthouse terrace this past Tuesday. The bird flew off, and when Lehman looked back down at her dog, he was bleeding.
“So we just rushed Pico downstairs to the vet,” Nicole Lehman said. “They said he was going to be OK. He needed four stitches.”
The veterinarian said the Lehmans could still leave their pit bull out. But twice this week, the hawk swooped in on 10-year-old Kirra, who was luckily unharmed.
And it is not just the dogs the Lehmans are worried about. They also have a 7-month-old daughter, Quincy, and they are not taking chances.
“Right now, actually, it’s really nice out. It’d be nice to spend some time out here today,” Nicole Lehman said. “But I think we better not.”
“It’s tough, because birds can fly from any direction, and you probably won’t hear them,” Josh Lehman said.
But this is not just any hawk. CBS2’s Scott Rapoport first introduced us to the bird last month, when it was raising two babies of its own on the fire escape.
The hawks were born on neighbor Jimmy O’Kelly’s 16th floor fire escape, hatching right outside his bedroom window.
“You don’t expect to see wildlife like this on the Upper West Side,” O’Kelly said last month.
Since then, the baby hawks have doubled in size, and the mother hawk is still watching over her nest.
“Anything smaller than the hawk itself, he can capture and eat, and he’s got a family to feed right now, so that’s a big concern, to have enough food,” said Rita McMahon, director of the Wild Bird Fund.
The hawk is keeping the family inside for now, but like mama bird, mama Nicole is keeping looking out for her family and staying away.