SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — A wildlife rescue group tried unsuccessfully for a third day Wednesday to capture and rescue a red-tailed hawk in a San Francisco park that appears to have been shot in the head with a nail gun.

A rescuer spotted the bird during the afternoon in one of its usual haunts in Golden Gate Park’s southwest corner, where it had captured and was eating a gopher.

“We know he’s gotten some nourishment, which is good because we know he’s in a weakened state,” said Rebecca Dmytryk, executive director of the Monterey-based group WildRescue.

At the same time, rescuers will have a harder time luring the hawk into their traps if it’s been eating, she said. “We need him hungry.”

After Wednesday’s effort, Dmytryk said searchers won’t be looking for the hawk Thursday but will instead be on call.

“We’ll be relying on the many contacts we’ve made in the area,” she said.

If the hawk is not spotted and found Thursday, the search is expected to resume Friday.

Dmytryk’s group is using a trap called a bal-chatri, a trap made of wire mesh, to try to catch the injured hawk.

She noted that wild birds, like hawks are protected, and that it’s a felony to try to capture the birds without a license.

Observers patrolling an area frequented by the hawk between a ball field and a lake got close enough to the bird to see the nail extending from its cheek through the front of its head. They said the hawk appeared to be in pain.

WildRescue was notified of the injured bird Sunday night.

It started scouring the park the following day, looking for

signs of the hawk and setting traps. Rescuers are using traps rather than nets to capture the bird because they fear the nail could get caught on a net and further injure it.

“It’s very time-consuming trying to find it,” Dmytryk said. The bird was likely born in the park to parents who still live in the area, she said.

Rescuers believe someone intentionally hurt the hawk, saying a nail gun can be fired accurately at a distance of several yards.

A donor pledged an additional $5,000 to WildRescue’s reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever harmed the bird, bringing the total reward to $10,000.

Red-tailed hawks are protected under federal law and harming one is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $15,000 fine, according to Elise Traub, outreach and policy manager for the Humane Society of the United States’ Wildlife Abuse Campaign.

Sightings of the hawk can be reported to WildRescue at 831-429-2323 or

Comments (50)
  1. David Doe says:

    There is no proof that a person did this! The bird could have flown into it, or bit into it!

  2. Carl Curmudgeon says:

    Liberals will worship a hawk,
    About it they’ll endlessly talk,
    But kill a young child,
    And they are not riled —
    As long as she doesn’t yet walk.

  3. Mtnhipi says:

    We have entirely too many people already, save the bird! With abortions if need be…

    1. imnicerthanur says:

      start with those dirty creeps occupying wall street and other places. Retroactively.

  4. Zul says:

    An article about saving a bird who was shot with a nail gun someone attract anti-abortion crazies? Seriously? Wow, people really are pathetically desperate to spread their propaganda to others, rather sad.

    1. natemann133 says:

      That’s what happens when Drudge links to an article.

      1. Jay Peterman says:

        Funny you say that, because the only way could know Drudge linked it was if you were on Drudge yourself. Freaking idiot. And how can you even not feel pity for an animal with a nail in it’s head? sick POS you are.

  5. Bobby Bacala says:

    Meahwhile the entire country sinks deeper into the Democrat generated turd swirl.

  6. Andrea Silver says:

    Injecting partisan politics and abortion polemics into a story about concern for a bird in distress is just stupid and discredits the cause you promote. I say that as someone who has seen both sides and is now a conservative.

    1. Frankie says:

      Awesome, you have seen the light.

  7. Paul says:

    Ah yes, the rare and beautiful head-nailed red-tailed hawk…

  8. Nate says:

    Wait….it’s eating and evading people trying to capture it. Other than a stylish piercing, is there anything wrong with this hawk? Seems like a pretty bad-@%$ hawk to me.

    Monster hawk, shot with nail gun, evades traps, kills and eats a gopher… a boss.

  9. David Earnest says:

    Now that the Hippies have the Hawk sorted, How about getting Governor Moonbeams head out of his @$$?

  10. Stasmi says:

    Republicans only care about human life when it’s in the womb. As soon as it’s born, they don’t want it to get health care, choose who it can marry, allow it to make very private decisions and they certainly don’t want it to decide when it’s time to die with dignity. Oh, and it had better be Christian.

    After the terrible events in Ohio, it’s wonderful to see people trying to do the right thing. I hope this hawk’s tale has a happy ending.

    1. Roland says:

      Can I get a amen from the congregation! Preach it!

  11. Rusty says:

    Having used a nail gun quite a bit I can assure you that shooting a hawk with one is totally impractical.

    As a bird lover, I can assure you that when a Red tail goes for prey, he goes down hard. This bird almost undoubtedly picked up that nail much as you would in one of you car tires.

    Sorry – no one to blame for this one!

  12. Lawrence E says:

    After seeing three members of his family murdered Chester Squirrel started carrying a nail for protection.