Last year, red-tailed-hawk pairs built a record 35 nests in the city, including five in Manhattan. (The most famous, Pale Male, lives on a Fifth Avenue co-op.) That means lots of baby hawks. “There is definitely a boom,” says biologist and hawk blogger Donegal Browne, who notes that New York’s red-taileds are having three or four chicks, or eyases, instead of the usual two. The newborns spend a few days flopping around the ground and low branches. “The city is not prepared to deal with wildlife in unexpected places,” says Glenn Phillips of the Audubon Society. Police picked up two eyases hatched in a nest atop an air conditioner on Avenue D when they turned up in the yard of the nearby Baruch Houses. “Some people argue you should stop all the traffic for them,” says Phillips, who’s developing a protocol for handling grounded baby birds. “I’m not sure that’s a realistic response in New York City.”
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