The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Claws out over homeless hawk

New York, Dec. 10 (Reuters): He was a movie star who resided on Manhattan's tony Upper East Side, drawing a crowd of followers who gathered daily to catch a glimpse of him.

But on Tuesday, that star ' a famous red-tailed hawk known as Pale Male who built his nest above a cornice of an apartment building overlooking Central Park and was the subject of a documentary movie ' was evicted. The nest where Pale Male and his companions had resided since 1993 was removed along with the metal spikes that provided support for the nest and protected it from the wind.

The abrupt removal of the nest had bird lovers up in arms yesterday and demanding his home be restored.

Pale Male is said to have been evicted for defecating on the doorstep and dropping the gnarled remains of pigeons outside the building entrance.

Supporters rallied for a second day outside the apartment building overlooking Central Park, saying he gives a rare glimpse of wildlife to hardened city dwellers.

'We're just incensed by the disregard for New York City wildlife,' said Stephanie Blackwood, who protested in front of the building yesterday. Her colleague, Jan-Peter Daniels, held a sign that read: 'Successful, rich and mean. Give Pale Male his home back.'

The bird gets his name from his unusually washed-out colour. His nest, built 12 stories above the park, inspired a book, a movie and a cult following. Bird lovers gathered there to observe the hawk and his mates, who raised more than 20 chicks in the nest since building it in 1993.

Aaron Shmulewitz, a lawyer for the co-op, said the nest was removed on the advice of the building's engineer to comply with city laws governing building exteriors and on health and safety concerns.

Since his eviction, the bird and his mate Lola have been seen making efforts to rebuild his nest. With the wind whipping up Fifth Avenue, they had made no noticeable progress.

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