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An injured hawk, what many believe to be a juvenile red-tailed hawk, has occupied an area on First Street in Hoboken. It was trying to take flight on Wednesday. Authorities are hoping to capture the bird in order to rehabilitate it.
By Steve Strunsky | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
January 13, 2016 at 5:33 PM, updated January 14, 2016 at 8:23 AM
HOBOKEN — An injured hawk has been occupying the balconies and branches of a block in Hoboken since the weekend, capturing the attention of area residents, workers and passersby, with just enough flight left in it to elude would-be captors trying to help it.
"When you approach him, off he goes," said Diane Soucy, vice president of the Millington-based Raptor Trust, which has been contacted by the city's animal control office, as well as concerned residents, and is ready to take it in for rehabilitation if it can be caught. "It's not going to be an easy task."
An animal control officer equipped with a net and heavy leather gloves tried to approach the hawk on Wednesday afternoon as it perched on the railing of a second-story front balcony on First Street, between Hudson and River Streets, where residents and workers said it has occupied both sides of the block since Friday.
But the majestic grey and white raptor managed to leap from the railing to a nearby tree branch when the officer got within ten feet or so.
Soucy said the plan was to approach it again in the evening, in the hope the hobbled bird would be reluctant to take wing in darkness.
A city spokesman, Juan Melli, said Liberty Humane Society was also monitoring the situation.
Suzanne Forbes, who works in the area and was one of many people to call authorities about it, said it looked to be a juvenile, judging from its size and down feathers.
"It seems like his right side was injured, because he's had to jump around on the balconies," Forbes said.
Soucy said the bird could have been injured any number of ways, including being hit by a car or flying into a window or wall. Its feathers appeared to be ruffled, but there was no blood or wound visible.
Judging from photos of the bird, Soucy said it appeared to be a red-tailed hawk, a variety particularly adaptable to urban environments that could even be a native New Yorker. Pigeons and rodents in the area should be glad it's been hobbled, Soucy said.
Jose Rojas was watching the bird from the entrance to 5 Marineview Plaza, on the block where the hawk has been stranded.
"He's been in the area since Friday," said Rojas, a maintenance worker. "He fell down on the ground once, but he must have flown back up."
"I'm kind of tied in with the bird," added Rojas, a graduate of Hudson Catholic High School in Jersey City, "because I went to Hudson Catholic, and our mascot is a Hawk."