Yesterday, a construction company removed the 11 year-old nest of red-tailed hawks from a Fifth Avenue apartment building, upsetting both residents, bird lovers, and city officials. Mary Tyler Moore, a resident at 924 Fifth Avenue (at East 74th Street) where hawks had roosted, told the NY Times, "These birds just kept coming back to the edge of the building, and people kept coming back to see them. This was something we like to talk about: a kinder, gentler world, and now it's gone." Though the beloved male hawk, Pale Male, has been the center of fascination for many (he's the subject of a PBS documentary and he's sired 23 hawks!), Moore said that many residents were upset by the bird poop and carcasses of prey that would fall 12 stories above from the nest to the front of the building. Bird poop, carcasses - apparently, Fifth Avenue residents can't tough it out!
The Parks Department said they weren't sure if the nest's removal violated any laws, but Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said, "Our domain doesn't extend to the tops of people's roofs. Regardless of legality, I am concerned about whether this was ethical, or the right thing to do." The Pale Male website is telling people to email the Fish and Wildlife Services to say that the nest was active up until its removal.
Did you ever see Pale Male? Do you think it was right from the nest to be taken away? Gothamist feels that to some extent, the hawks had squatters' rights, and therefore, deserved to live there; however, we don't feel the same way about rats or roaches, so maybe we've painted ourselves into a corner.