NEW YORK (PIX11)—Several red-tailed hawks have been found dead in and around parks in Manhattan over the past two months. Two hawks were discovered in different sections of Central Park, and one in Riverside Park, according to Parks Department officials. All three were sent to the Department of Environmental Conservation's pathology lab to determine the cause of their deaths.
"That to me is absolutely overwhelming," said bird lover Virginia Arrea, who goes to Washington Square Park twice a day to look for a hawk she's spotted there on a number of occasions.
Other recent deaths include Lima, the mate of celebrity hawk Pale Male. Two more dead hawks were found, one near Columbus Circle, and another near Peter Cooper Village on the Lower East Side.
Experts suspect the hawks may have consumed poison indirectly by eating sick rodents or pigeons which they might find outside the parks.
"We value our wildlife and work diligently to create the necessary balance between public health and safety, and wildlife health and safety," said Parks' First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh. "Out of concern for the resident red-tailed hawks in Central and Riverside Park, poisoned bait is not currently used."