After a long trek through the Marine Park salt marsh and maritime forest trail, a group of hikers on a weekend Tree and Plant ID walking tour were on the last legs of their journey when they peered up at yet another big tree only to be delighted to spot an almost perfectly camouflaged red-tailed hawk feasting on its latest catch among the branches.
“Oh wow, what is that?” said one of the hikers. One by one, the rest of the group gathered a distance from the very large bird on the branches with something bloody and raw clutched in its talons. Finally, with help from the park rangers, they were able to identify the bird as a red-tailed hawk.
For years, red-tailed hawks have been using Marine Park as their hunting grounds for squirrels, mice and other smaller animals and birds, but they were a rare sighting, so it can be quite a sight for anyone who hasn’t seen one up close, especially when it is doing what comes naturally to survive. This one was spotted by the Lenape Playground on East 38th Street, near Avenue U.