Photo by David Greene
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 2- On a day when the DeWitt Clinton's varsity football team returned for their annual homecoming game-- a family of wild hawks were already home and on the prowl as they have called Clinton High School their home for the last five or six years.
Able to dive and sail through the air at top speeds of up to 100 miles-per-hour and sounding like a model plane's wind-up propeller, this family of hawks have been buzzing up and down Mosholu Parkway causing quite a stir.
Several school safety officers were recently spotted snapping pictures of a trio of hawks who are believed to be a part of a family of as many as six, who have reportedly set up camp in an abandon tower atop the iconic school, that first opened on Mosholu Parkway back in 1929.
One hawk was spotted atop the school as three others played tag, danced and posed for photos shot by school safety agents and a handful of passersby with cell-phone cameras, all while the feathered creatures looked for prey, reportedly dining on a menu of rats and pigeons and an occasional squirrel.
Hawks apparently find the borough of the Bronx an ideal location as nests of hawks have been spotted in Highbridge Park, Pelham Bay, Fordham University, The New York Botanical Gardens and at least one fire escape along Mosholu Parkway.
Clinton's new residents appear to be from the Broad-winged Hawk family, whose numbers have declined in recent years.
One longtime school safety officer recalled, "We had a rodent problem at the school and they quickly took care of that." The official added, "I'd like to see the city dedicate some resources for them, like they did for the hawks along Fifth Avenue."
Hawks are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and currently have a global population estimated at 2 million.
When reached by telephone, the school's principal said that while the hawks have been appreciated by the faculty and students for the past several years, The Governors would remain the school's mascot.
Principal Geraldine Ambrosio stressed, "No... long live The Governors."
But the Clinton Hawks does have a nice ring to it.