By Anthony Ferrara
On a crisp Saturday afternoon, Wild Bird Fund Director Rita McMahon, walked with volunteers and friends from the bird rehab organization’s office on 87th & Columbus to a rocky outcropping in Central Park with “Candy Corn” in a large box. Candy Corn is a red-tailed hawk that was found on the grounds of Lincoln Towers (65th & West End Ave) last Saturday and taken to the Wild Bird Fund for care.
McMahon said that the bird was “healthy enough to be returned to the wild, but the only problem is that hawks are very territorial, with ranges up to one mile in radius.” The prevailing theory of how the bird was found was that another hawk may have chased it into a window, causing it to fall to the ground in a stupor. The rehabbers were worried that Candy Corn could once again get into a battle for territory with another hawk and find itself in a similar predicament.
As the two year-old carnivore was boxed up and walked to the park, it barely shook the box, and stayed as calm as a wild animal could hope to be. As we got closer to take-off, it seemed the bird sensed its imminent release and shook the box with anticipation.
The box was opened on a granite outcropping around 85th Street, with a short pause before the predator peeked its head out. It took off like a bolt, screaming straight, and then taking a quick u-turn, ascending in silent determination to a tree about 150 feet away. Then a few moments later, the hawk flew out of the tree, headed south and rose into the air. Its human friends on the ground looked on in awe.
If you wish to get involved with Wild Bird Fund NYC, please contact the non-profit organization at 646-306-2862, or visit www.wildbirdfund.org.
Photos and videos by Anthony Ferrara.