Trained Hawks, Falcons, and Owls

Ocean City, New Jersey, hires hawks, falcons, and owls to ward off the seagulls. Recently seagulls attacked me and my dinner at the Ocean Cafe on the Boardwalk, and they called in a hawk to chase them away. May 25 I found a dead hawk on my beach at 17th Street:

I carried her back and left her on the deck outside my condo. After a Speedball bridge game, I called the police, and they came right away with the handlers to pick her up:


I learned the full story a couple of weeks later (June 10), when handler Eric Swanson returned with falcon Diambi (?):

The hawk had chased and caught a gull 3000 feet out into the ocean and brought it down to eat. Once wet, the hawk cannot fly. She tried in vain to swim back. It was too early in the season for the Beach Patrol to be there to help. The handler wanted to swim out in the 51-degree water to save her, but Eric prevented that foolish attempt. At nightfall the Beach Patrol assured them that she would wash ashore overnight, and indeed they found her at 17th Street in the morning. But before the handlers arrived, I found her. They followed the signal to 17th Street, but never thought to look upstairs until I telephoned. They thought perhaps a fox had taken her and they were searching under the Boardwalk.

One Comment

  1. domma:

    What a tender story!

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