Email signup

NEW: BB gun shooting of red-tailed hawk at Lake Accotink Park under investigation

Virginia’s Conservation Police are investigating a reported shooting of a red-tailed hawk at Lake Accotink Park last week that required the bird to be euthanized.

A woman saw the hawk flying near the North Springfield park’s carousel on Wednesday (Jan. 18) afternoon. When she tried to get closer for a photograph, though, she found it “struggling” in Flag Run, a creek that passes through the park, according to Diva Crows, a local songbird rehabilitation center.

The woman took the bird to Diva Crows, which gave it fluids before transferring it to a veterinarian the following morning.

“The bird’s wing was broken, it was bleeding from the chest and under the eye,” Diva Crows Director Catherine Sevcenko told FFXnow. “Even worse, its head was twisted over its shoulder and it had little use of its legs.”

The vet took X-rays that indicated the hawk had been shot, with two pellets passing through its chest to its skull. The vet euthanized the bird “to end its suffering,” Sevcenko said.

The incident was reported to the Fairfax County Park Authority and Animal Protection Police, which notified the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR).

DWR confirmed that the case is under investigation, but no further details are currently available. The Fairfax County Police Department said the vet “reported the bird had two injuries due to being shot with BB’s.”

Red-tailed hawks are among dozens of species protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treat Act of 1918, which prohibits killing, capturing, selling, transporting or otherwise harming many wild birds without a permit.

There are an estimated 3.1 million red-tailed hawks worldwide, according to the Avian Conservation Assessment Database.

“We do not have an estimate on the number of red-tailed hawks in the county and are not aware of any other such occurrences,” an FCPD spokesperson said.

Sevcenko says Diva Crows gets about one shot bird per year, though her operation has remained relatively small since starting in 2012. The center got a raven last year that had been shot but survived, ultimately winding up at the Cayuga Nature Center in Ithaca, New York.

Diva Crows typically handles songbirds, but Sevcenko’s state permit enables her to take in raptors or birds of prey if they’re transferred elsewhere for additional care within 24 hours. The center accepts injured and orphaned animals for rehabilitation from anywhere in Virginia, though most come from Fairfax and Arlington counties.

Sevcenko says she hopes publicizing the incident will help investigators figure out what happened and who was responsible.

“These cases are hard to investigate but having a witness really helps,” she said, noting that the Lake Accotink Park visitor saw the bird flying but didn’t hear the pellet shots.

Recent Stories

A look at the smallest and largest homes sold in Fairfax County last month, October 2023.

Sugar plum fairies are getting ready to descend on Fairfax County, which will host multiple productions of Pytor Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” this holiday season. The 131-year-old ballet, now a Christmastime…

With a new month on the horizon, algae blooms at three lakes in Reston appear to be turning a leaf. Warnings to avoid making contact with Lake Anne and Lake…

The federal government has officially decided to review its decision to award the FBI’s new headquarters to Prince George’s County, Maryland, over Fairfax County.

Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!

Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.

For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

The Nutcracker presented by the Ravel Dance Company

The Ravel Dance Company will present the beloved holiday tradition The Nutcracker. It is Christmas Eve and the Stahlbaum family’s daughter Clara has received a Nutcracker from the mysterious toymaker and godfather Herr Drosselmeyer. Follow her journey through the Pine

Winter Wonderland Fundraiser

Proceeds benefit Fellowship Square, improving the lives of 800+ older adults with very limited income and resources by providing affordable housing and supportive services.

Experience a festive holiday fundraiser complete with savory wines & craft beers, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, exciting

×

Subscribe to our mailing list