Letters July 2012

Rat poison baiting is in direct violation of the MBTA, BUT, in the case of human health (I hate that excuse), they would get an exception anyway. Technically they need to apply for a permit but USF&W wouldn't even bother requiring that.
They really do turn a blind eye to what happens to wild birds. They allow the poisoning of millions of redwing blackbirds each year that eat farmers crops. It really isn't fair and I do not use the term 'human being' for people like that. The only thing we can do is get everyone to email and call in support of the hawks but we both know people are too lazy.
I personally send emails for any and all of the animal inhumanities I can find. I just wish all the complainers would put their money where their mouths are.

Wildbird Reecovery


Don't give up! If you go away who will be the thorn in their side?
Poison is easy and careless. Traps are effective but more work. Could there be a monitoring program consisting of volunteers to check traps that are safely placed in boxes much like the poison?



Dear Lincoln,
I spoke with the President's office and they said to forward you to Karen Quigley in our Operations Department. She has received your message and will be getting back to you in the next couple of days.
The Operations Department take care of the museum and the grounds.
I hope the little ones feel better soon.
Warm regards,
Elizabeth Stachow
Executive Assistant to Neil deGrasse Tyson
Director, Hayden Planetarium
American Museum of Natural History
175-208 Central Park West @ 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
e-mail: stachow@amnh.org


Hey there Mr. Karim,
I am so sorry about the hawk babies. i have been fighting against pesticide companies since 1965! and i have written to you before, i love your work..i am also a photographer in marin, ca. and i was a wildlife tech for ten years. i treated many creatures who had ingested rat poison, it is very difficult to deal with. and i am afraid that people will always poison vermin...there is a bit of a survival instinct at play here. rats are dangerous and they carry lots of diseases so the urge to kill them is understandable. the best place to use your energy would be at the level of the manufacturer...it is possible to produce a rat poison that would only kill the rodent and not the predator that eats the dead rodent...lets put some pressure on d-con....the biggest producer of rodenticides- to re-formulate their product, or to produce it in such a way that secondary ingestion isn't fatal.

And again, many thanks for all your dedication all these years.
Patrice H.


Dear Colleagues in the Academic Community:

I had every intention of finally, as a born and bred NewYorker, joining the AMNH for 2012-13, but found, to my dismay, that the AMNH isone of the organizations apparently still using RAT POISON in its precincts, which mayhave led to the sickness of the two juvenile red-tail hawks living near 927Fifth Avenue, and the demise of several other mature hawks earlier thisyear. Given the “SustainabilityPrinciples” statement on your web site, it boggles the mind to learn about youractions in this regard.

I cannot join any institution that acts in such a manner,and I intend to make a lot of noise with my friends about this wanton activityon the part of the Museum. As caretakersof our human heritage, and devoted researchers into the lives of birds, you have an obligation to act accordingly with the naturalenvironment of the Park.
Since it appears that only the Met, the Natural History Museum, and, appallingly, the Central Park Precinct, still use rat poison, I suggest you look to yourmembership rolls for an impact if you do not begin to act with the best interests of the animals in mind.
This hew and cry should be coming from institutions such as the Museum and not just from birders or readers of various NYC blogs.


Would we here in Cleveland be wasting our time trying to get to the Mayor? He's all about money and if we can lighten his tourism,

Maybe he'll ask some questions of these ghouls.?? We already have the contact info out on Facebook (I'm not a FB'er, but some on our falcon forum are and it reaches far away!). I think creating even a minor impact on $$$$ is a way to go. Do you think he will listen? There could be a lot of folks contacting and letting him know that their plans to go to NYC are suddenly cancelled by ignorance!

Again, my heart goes out to you,



I am sorry to send such a lengthy analysis (see below for link and quote) but if you get into this article, esp at page 3, you might find that those who are inadvertantly killing Pale Pale and Zena's children could be liable.

An Overview of The Migratory Bird Treaty Act

From the article, at page 3, right column: "As mentioned above, in a series of criminal prosecutions the Department of Justice has pushed the broad interpretation of the statute, and some courts have accepted the theory, gradually expanding the scope of the MBTA in those jurisdictions. In United States v. FMC Corp., 572 F.2d 902 (2d Cir. 1978), the Second Circuit affirmed the conviction of a manufacturer of pesticides for migratory bird deaths. Still the FMC court stated misgivings (a “construction that would bring every killing within the statute, such as deaths caused by automobiles, airplanes, plate glass modern office buildings or picture windows into such birds fly, would offend reason and common sense”) and possibly limiting incidental takes to “extrahazardous” activities (actually what are termed “ultrahazardous” activities in tort law parlance). 572 F.2d at 905, 907. In a contemporaneous high-profile case, an applicator of pesticides was found to have violated the MBTA. United States v. Corbin Farm Servs., 444 F. Supp. 510 (E.D. Cal. 1978), aff’d on other grounds, 578 F.2d 259 (9th Cir. 1978).
See also the paragraph immediately following, page 4, right column.


Thank you for your numerous videos and pictures of Zena and Palemale's babies. Once again, they are beautiful and you are excellent at what you do. I have enjoyed another wonderful year of watching him with his babies, albeit, with another new female also.

About the possible rat poisoning of 2 of his fledglings, I came across this article at Wildcare online, I believe in the SanFrancisco Bay area they rescue birds. More than halfway down the page, it talks about the secondary poisoning of hawks, foxes, etc from eating poisoned rats. Apparently SF has banned the use of them. Perhaps the "infamous" Mayor Bloomberg of NYC could take on a similar stand. I have attached link below for you, and you might want to consider emailing it to the mayor (I am not a NYC resident) in hopes he might consider it. Turn their politics back onto them, hmmm.

Here is the link for your consideration. The actual recent info is below the paragraph about 2009, so keep going down the page.

Hope it can help you. Also, hoping the baby can be rehabbed. I understand the perils it will face, being put back into the same environment again, but maybe by then you can draw enough attention to the issue, keep trying Lincoln and remember that there are literally hundreds of people reading your palemale homepage and watching him through your pictures - maybe even thousands. Today even on a discussion forum online for the Wildlife Center of VA (WCV) and their webcam, people posted about palemale's fledglings and asked the infamous Ed Clark about the poisoning and what could be done. Plenty of people in NYC and outside NYC do care about these hawks and appreciate your efforts. Do not lose hope in humanity, you are just exposed to the worst parts of humanity, and often...thank you for taking time to read my note.

link to page: WildCare rodenticide


I am so sad the hear about the baby hawks in Central Park. The places around & near the park using rat poison must beforced to stop using it & killing the wildlife there. Even though I live in MA this really breaks my heart. There must be some agency that protects wildlife that can end these tragedies. Thank you for all you do for Pale Male & all the red-tails.



Here is a close copy of the email I sent to Mayor Bloomberg's office today:

Mr. Mayor, I'm writing to you from across the country because I would like to help if I can, and would like for your office to help - if it can.

New York City's red-tailed hawks - especially the ones in and near Central Park - are a treasure beyond compare, and a fragile one at that. More than one of these beautiful creatures has died from the ingestion of rodenticide left near the museums in the Park. Two are ill now, one having been taken to a rehab facility on Long Island just yesterday. You can see much of the story at this website:


As you can tell by the incredible photographs at this site, these birds are magnificent. Their welfare depends on us.
The only thing I can think of that would prevent more deaths would be a complete, total ban of the use of rodenticide in or near any of New York City's public areas. This would include the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History, among others.

I hope that, as mayor of the most wonderful city on the planet, you might be able to do something to help these defenseless creatures. Rodents can be controlled with mechanical traps. Anti-coagulant poison is a torture not only for the rats, squirrels and mice that ingest it but for the birds of prey who feed on those rodents.

We humans should be smart enough to come up with a better way of pest control, and I look forward to hearing about the solutions your office might come up with. I also look forward to hearing that these beautiful hawk babies will live to fly and mate and hunt and grace New York with their magical presence once again.

Thank you,
Donna H.
Salem, Oregon

Mr. Karim, thank you for caring as much as you do. Please let me know if there is a petition I can sign, a donation I can give, or anything else I can do to help our magnificent friends in the animal world of New York City.


When I saw the photo you posted the other day, of one of Palemale's kids not leaving the tree all day... my heart broke. i feared the worst... rat poisoning. And today it appears that 2 are gravely ill... I am beside myself with anger and pain...

is there ANYTHING we (the public from around the world) can do to help prevent this from happening over and over again?
Such callous disregard for the natural world is a crime... the continued poisoning of such beautiful birds should be punished...

what can we do?

Please give us all a direction to head in... tell us who to write to call, to send a letter to via snail mail...

A pile of thousands of letters sent in the mail cannot be ignored!

My heart breaks for these birds AND for you also. I know how very, very, VERY much you love them.

Please find a small amount of comfort in the fact that you are not alone.



I am sickened by recent events, but I have a thought to pass on although I am not sure how to go about implementing it. The only thing these organizations (the Met Museum, the Museum of Natural History, etc.) understand is money.

If somehow a campaign could be started to starve these places of donations and funding unless they pledge to never use rodenticides on their properties, and if the general public could be gotten behind this effort, things might begin to change.

Of course, getting the "General Public" behind anything beneficial is not an easy thing. (My husband frequently says "Thank God I do not have to deal with the General Public").

Perhaps as a beginning posters could be made and placed on lamp posts near these organizations to make people aware, and the local papers could be recruited to help spread the word. It would be wonderful if an organization like NYC Audubon would step up to the plate, but in my opinion they would worry about alienating some of their corporate donors. I wrote to them when Lima died and never received a response.

When we were in Acadia National Park in June, we saw trash containers that were rat-and-raccoon proof. In fact, they were almost Ann-proof :) I took photos of these containers if you are interested. These would go a long way toward reducing the rodent population to a degree where they would be less visible and therefore cause less traps to be put out. I never report seeing rats in Prospect Park any more because I'd rather have the rats than risk the birds. And this year, because the hawk nest in Nellie's Lawn must have had some kind of problem, and we have no baby hawks around, I have seen rats on several occasions.

I have not checked the status of the baby who is with WINORR, but the truth is even if he recovers, he is compromised for life and if he manages to breed his progeny could have problems as well. A very sad situation. What a waste of little lives.


Ann F.


I visit and relish in your site every day. I have followed the three babies growth with such delight I can't tell you. You are a brilliant photographer.

I am horrified about the two. Wondering if they can be saved.

Here is a link to possible non leather to raptor's poison. Will try to spread word to the Met and Hudson River Park who I have connections to in hopes they will connect it to Parks. Also Will contact DEP as I am one of their public artists albeit the project was put on hold for 12 years.

thank you for everything you do.

Meg Webster



Please give me phone numbers and/or email addresses to the enemy...

the people in cleveland are "angry".. big following here...

I am sickened.. i can't think of what was going through your head to have to photograph such a beautiful and sick RTH...

Know that the world is behind you...please don't give up.. i sensed the "what will it matter".. we can't stop..i'll do what i can...




I’ve been reading your posts for a few months now, since Palemale lost his earlier mate to rat poison. I am so sorry that 2 of the 3 fledglings are sick. I live in Seattle and don’t have any influence over the government in NYC. I just wanted to let you know that I care about the birds and I’m thankful for what you do to keep them on the web so people know what is happening.

Susan M.


Is there someone we can contact specifically to ban the rat poison in Central Park?

If there is please post a name and phone number or email.

If we have to contact them again and again and again we can do that too.

I know exactly how you feel about those hawks. Just because I only see them on your website doesn't mean

I don't really know them. They are miles above us (literally and figuratively).

These hawks have no ability to judge.

These hawks are delicate indescribable creations.

Man couldn't come close to those qualities and that is why we who know this, marvel at them.

-Beth D. in Detroit, Michigan


Thank you for everything you do for Pale Male and his family. You are a very courageous human being for standing up to the people who would let all the other earthlings die and not care a bit.
It is very difficult to fight against these people. Most of the time I feel hopeless and helpless. But because of you I continue to fight when it is needed. I hope his baby will recover and I also hope that someday soon people will realize that we need to share this planet will all of its inhabitants and stop being so arrogant.

Linda M.

Blue Bell, PA