Gallery: Two of Pale Male’s Red Tail Hawk Babies Are Sick After Eating ...

There are few New Yorkers who haven't heard about Pale Male, the city's most famous fine-feathered friend, so many were outraged to hear that two of his babies have fallen ill after ingesting rat poisoning this weekend. The little red tail hawks were found in Central Park by animal rescue volunteer Cathy Horvath, and quickly given blood tests that revealed the presence of the chemical. Horvath has since taken the lil' guys under her wing, treating them with doses of vitamin K to strengthen their immune systems and bring them back to good health.

©Marie Winn

Horvath found two of Pale Male and his mate Zena’s three babies feeling under the weather, and immediately suspected rat poison was the cause. Many hawks dine on rats, which could have themselves ingested rat poison, passing it on from prey to diner. Should a hawk ingest rat poison, a tell-tale sign is lethargy, and the two fledglings appeared woozy and slow this weekend.

Another young bird thought to also be Pale Male’s spawn was sighted in Central Park also showing signs of fatigue, and Horvath hopes to care for it as well in the coming days. The other two fledglings are currently being treated at her clinic near the Natural History Museum.

Rat poisoning of Central Park’s red-tailed hawks is a hot button for many bird enthusiasts, rousing a petition to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation called “Stop the murder of our Red Tail Hawks in NYC.” Sympathizers can sign the petition on a link via Change.org.

Via DNA Info

Images ©Pale Male and ©Marie Winn

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