By Mike Schuh

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.

Comments (28)
  1. Bullfrog says:

    Every hunter that I have ever met is a beer/alcohol drinker. Let’s hope that the moron who shot this beautiful endangered bird is. Drinkers, whether they are men or women love to talk and brag, well let’s keep are fingers crossed that this moron is a talking. I truly believe that eventually DNR will find out who committed this horrible crime and revoke his license permanently along with at the very least a $1000.00 fine and community service for 260 hours working in the woods, cleaning the area’s of trash. I do have one question though, (Why wasn’t this gorgeous bird protected better)? Maybe using surveillance cameras,

    1. doug says:

      I hunt,I fish,and I don’t drink. That’s a ridiculous statement you made. Painting everyone with the same brush is moronic.

    2. Robert says:

      I agree with Doug. I hunt, & fish but I do not drink alcohol in any form. nor do i use drugs of any sort. I only kill what i eat and i eat what i kill. i do not kill for sport. you know someone has to kill those cows you use to make hamgurger meat. Mcdoubles dont grow on trees you know.

      1. Stacey Citraro-againstanimalabuse says:

        Oh I know that and know how they suffer and that is precisely why I don’t eat meat. I’m half way disassociated with the horrendous cruelty and suffering that takes place…many animals go down the line and are still conscious while dismembered.

  2. Jeff says:

    I grew up hunting and we used what we killed. Mainly deer and we used the meat in a variety of ways. Killing a bird like this and just leaving it there for no reason tells you a lot about the person who did it. If you shot it just for the heck of it, then you got problems.

  3. Dan says:

    Today is a new day! Let us all hope that common sense and intelligence will prevail over bigotry and ignorance in the comment section!

    1. Kathleen says:

      Good luck with that.

  4. Bob says:

    So be fair, I will need to pick on another race. “I know a lot of Black males with guns that kill defenseless people”. I feel better now. Now for what I really think…

    This person that shot the bird will get what is coming for to them, karma kills.. Could be male, female, black, white, Maybe they where from china ?? Maybe it was some kids with a pellet gun or a slingshot, I dont believe the “Media” even reported what it was shot with? Why do you jump to it being shot with guns. Maybe it was “shot” with a bow and arrow by native americans that are starting to move back into the wild parts of the state??

    1. Georgeanna Modlin says:

      You are right and some people think anything is ok if it is their own race which is wrong for anyone. Thank you

  5. bmore ndn says:

    Last I checked we were human beings also, not some wild animals running around in the woods. If we killed the bird you wouldn’t of found a body because us natives don’t just kill an animal for fun

  6. demo65 says:

    Just a bird, just a bird!. why don’t other types of birds given this much respect. Chicken for example. they cut out our heads off and totally dismember us. they even pull our guts out and fry our liver and gizzards and the rest of us. we don’t bother anyone and yeah we hate the entire Perdue, Holly Poulty families. they are the real devils. we don’t boher anyone. our relatives, roost in the morning to get people on their way, produce eggs and what do you all do… fried us up for breakfast, boil up hard and then cut us up and put us in salad. if it had been a chicken that was shot, not would have been said or an oriole of a turkey, goose, duck, geese, vulcher, buzzar. Oh, no problem if they kill us though. yes, i am freekin upset. your’s truly, that rubber chicken every comedian throws across stage.

    1. robert says:

      mmmmmm fried chicken ahhhhhhh……….

    2. Stacey Citraro-againstanimalabuse says:

      I can relate to your words. I am proud to say that chicken was the first meat I gave up when I chose to be veg back in 1998. Chickens are the most misunderstood of animals, yet they are smart and intelligent and if given the chance can be just like a dog or cat.

  7. the truth says:

    Well i know a lot of white people that molest kids… but i guess that has nothing to do with this article

  8. Leonard says:

    Sometimes I feel details are left out for a reason. Let’s say the Goshawk was shot with a 22, everyone who owned a 22 could easily become a suspect. It is a sad thing to lose a species like this. I’m not a huge bird watcher but I do appreciate the beauty of the variety of wildlife we have here in Maryland. Where I live in Harford county we see swan, geese, ducks, Bald eagles, red tial hawks, wild turkeys.I would hate to lose a species to a sensless act or a careless accident , whatever the case may be.

  9. Inside Voice says:

    Guns and their owners cause way too many problems in this country.

    1. Robert says:

      negligent doctors kill over 225000 people each year. every year less than 40000 people die from being shot. guess we should get ride all the doctors too eh….

  10. OMalleyTaxOCrat says:

    no worries at the rate this state is losing jobs, soon downtown annapolis will be covered in forest and abandoned buildings. plenty of goshawk nesting to be seen.

  11. Pat says:

    Thee is no excuse for whoever committed this horrible crime. This beautiful bird was probably out finding food for her family. How very sad. And I’m sure the male is wondering what happened to his family. I absolutely hate whoever did this, and hope they have nothing but bad luck.

  12. wllharrington says:

    There is a difference between a hunter and a sportsman. Too many sportsmen who hunt are tarred with the brush of hunter. The person who killed the Goshawk was not a sportsman.

  13. Concern says:,,,, & posts)

  14. Stacey Citraro-againstanimalabuse says:

    Eye for an eye….that is all.

  15. Cliff Calven says:

    NRA thinks this is funny. Thinks every in-bred yahoo should be buying guns on demand & shoot’n.

  16. Extinction Lives says:

    So sad, to think that we are losing the battle against preservation of endangered species.

    But, then again, it is entirely inevitable. If you think about it.

    Our population is not dwindling. Rather, it is ever increasing.

    We are building houses faster than we ever have, in the history of mankind.

    Despite our hopeful wishes, regarding the preservation of endangered species, it is simply “straight forward”. They will all die. We will struggle to “preserve” them, as best we can. However, in the end, only ourselves and those animals that we raise for food and companionship will remain.

    There are many who would deny this cold fact, but it is the result of stupid and wishful thinking, rather than obvious logic.

    Enjoy the wildlife while you can, and take lots of pictures to share with your grandchildren.

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