Rare Bird Shot To Death, Leaving 3 Chicks Defenseless

GARRETT COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)—The rarest wild bird in our state was shot to death in western Maryland.

Mike Schuh reports when the bird was killed, its chicks were left defenseless.

For 100 years, the Northern Goshawk couldn’t be found in Maryland.  They left when too many old trees were cut down. But in recent years, as forest matured, a few–three to five– returned.

“This is a big, spectacular hawk that only will nest in the wildest places,” said Jonathan McKnight, DNR Assistant  Wildlife Director. “The nest was in far western Maryland in Garrett County.”

It was the only nest with chicks–three of them–anywhere in the state. DNR keeps track of the birds. Last week, a biologist didn’t see the mom.

“So he moved around the area and eventually located the mother and could tell that she had been shot,” McKnight said.

The three chicks were now left to care for themselves.

“The chicks were defenseless,” McKnight said. “And some sort of predator got them out of the nest.”

All three died.

“If the male is still near the nest, he is probably the last Goshawk in Maryland,” McKnight said.

Frankly, DNR doesn’t think they’ll ever catch the person who shot the bird. But they do hope he’s made aware of what he’s done.

“I hope wherever that guy is right now, he’s kicking himself in the head and going, ‘I am never going to do that again,’” McKnight said.

Anyone with information on the shooting is urged to call DNR.

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