Friday, April 4, 2008

Red-tailed Hawk Attacks a Girl at Fenway Park

Apparently there are three resident red-tailed hawks at Fenway Park. One of them attacked a middle school student from Connecticut while she was there on a tour of the park. She received a scratch on her forehead and was treated and released from Children's Hospital.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

What a terrible thing to happen, but at the same time I'm fascinated by these Fenway Park hawks. has full coverage with both a news story and a pictorial giving a high-level account of the story. I recommend taking a look at the pictorial by clicking on the image above because there are some amazing pictures in there.

WCVB,, also covered the story and has a video of the hawk watching visitors in one of the luxury boxes. The video captures both angles- the visitors chattering behind the glass and of the hawk perched in front of the window watching them critically. Click on the image to view the video (taken by reporters touring the park) on their site.

It's reported that the hawk has been building nests there since 2002, but is usually shooed out before Opening Day. In the end Animal Rescue League removed the nest at the direction of MassWildlife or the Department of Fish and Game. The Red Sox spokeswoman referred to the agency as Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife. I'm not sure who it is then since as far as I know that agency doesn't exist.

After learning about habitat management from Dave Scarpitti it occurred to me the hawk chose Fenway since it's an open tract of land in the heart of an urban center where it can hunt (groundskeepers report seeing it catch mice and small animals in years past) and have other habitat needs met.

What are your thoughts? Did anyone else see this in the news?


Mel said...

That's sad news, sorry about the girl and also for the hawk, when something like this happens, humans tend to go after the animal and its group...

dguzman said...

It was all over the PA birding listserv, and I've seen a few other bird bloggers mention it. It must've been terrifying, but at the same time the idea of "shooing away" the bird before opening day really sounds crappy.

Birdinggirl said...

@ mel, I agree- I'm not really with how this has all played out. I do feel bad for the hawk since it sounds like there have been a few that have lived peacefully at Fenway for the past couple years.

@ dguzman, yes- shooing it away is not the nicest thing. At first I wasn't clear if there were eggs in the nest they removed, and today I learned there was and I believe it feel out during the process and was lost.

They clearly knew the birds were there so they should have perhaps done a better job of watching their activity or come up with a plan to prevent all this. I understand there were many other factors involved, but that's my take on it.

Bluebird of Friendliness said...

I wish I had been a birder when I lived in Boston. I just wanted to tell you I enjoy your blog and read it regularly. If youby any chance want to check out mine, it's

I birdwatch in NYC. Have a good weekend!

Larry said...

I'm a big Sox fan. It's too bad about the hawk and the girl.-Better precautions should have been taken.

Anonymous said...

I just had one in my backyard and got a great picture of the bird in the tree, now I'm a litle nervous about letting my small dogs out. I have to admit seeing the bird was wonderful, it was beautiful!

Anonymous said...

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