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

Good Friday evening! Today we published 7 articles that were read a total of 7366 times on FFXnow alone, so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles…

A dog was chained up and shot this morning in the residential neighborhood behind the Woodlawn Shopping Center in Mount Vernon, police say. Officers responded to the area of Bedford…

The Rotary Club of McLean will peer back into the colonial era this weekend for its 11th annual chocolate festival. Set to return this Sunday (Jan. 29), the McLean Chocolate…

The Herndon Festival will return this year in the summer, bringing back a tradition that was scaled back to a carnival last year. The festival is set to take place…

Hi, my name is Moneim Z., and I am a blind male with chronic kidney disease, who needs a living kidney donor for a transplant. My blood type is B+, and I can accept a kidney from individuals who have blood types B and O.

To read my story, please see the attached letter.

To contact me directly, please email me at moneimz87@gmail.com or call at 571-428-5065. My living donor coordinator at INOVA Hospital, Amileen Cruz can be reached at (703) 776-8370 , or via email at amileencheska.cruz@inova.org.

Thank you!

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list