NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two red-tailed hawks — one found nearly starved to death, another shot in the wing — are now on the mend.
NYPD Officer Brian McAllister was first on the scene at West 57th Street at Sixth Avenue where the severely underweight bird was disoriented on the sidewalk.
“He looked like he was backed into the corner,” Officer McAllister told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
McAllister called for back-up and brought the hawk to experts at the Wild Bird Fund on the Upper West Side.
“He’s a very hungry weak animal because he didn’t get enough food,” said Rita McMahon. “Weather related? Yes, definitely.”
It will take weeks to fatten the hawk up for release in Central Park.
Birds at the Fund are named after those who bring them in — hence one being given the name “McAllister.”
McAllister is not the only red-tailed hawk at the Wild Bird Fund. Another one was brought in from Queens just a few days ago under different circumstances. It was shot in the wing with a pellet gun.
“It’s disgusting that you would shoot a beautiful animal just for the sake of playing target practice,” McMahon said.
Red-tailed hawks flourish in New York City, but the young ones struggle through their first winters. These two have a chance thanks to their friends on the force and at the Wild Bird Fund.
Both birds will spend some of their time recuperating at “Raptor Trust,” a bird rehab center in Millington, New Jersey.