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Feb 10, 2016 12:41 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Dead Hawk With Bullet Wound Found Near Shinnecock Bay

A sharp-shinned hawk was found on the west side of the Shinnecock Bay on Sunday. COURTESY OF ALEX BURTON
Feb 11, 2016 1:36 PM

A dead hawk with an apparent bullet wound was found just west of the Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays on Sunday afternoon.

The sharp-shinned hawk was found in the parking strip near Road K by Alex Burton, an East Quogue resident who was taking nature photos at the time.

“It was lying on its back, stomach up, and I turned it over to look at it, and it looked like it had a large hole blasted out of it,” Mr. Burton said of the hawk. “I go driving on Dune Road a lot to take nature photographs, so I was obviously upset to see this.”

After finding the hawk, Mr. Burton said he reported it to the Southampton Town Police. A police officer told him they were forwarding the report to the State Department of Environmental Conservation—which is protocol, according to Town Police Lieutenant Susan Ralph.

The DEC investigates dead raptors to determine how they died and if there was any foul play involved.

Mr. Burton said it looked as if the hawk had been shot, speculating that a duck hunter could have been responsible for its death. Duck hunting ended on Long Island on January 31, but geese hunting continues until March 31, according to the DEC website.

It remained unclear this week why the hawk was shot, as the DEC never directly responded to the scene.

Aphrodite Montalvo, a DEC spokesperson, said there were no complaints of a dead hawk found near Shinnecock Bay reported to her office this week.

Eileen Schwinn, the vice president of the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society, identified the species of hawk after The Press shared Mr. Burton’s photos of the dead raptor with her.

“I wish the DEC would have checked it out,” Mr. Burton said of the hawk on Wednesday morning. “If it was something natural it would be one thing, but it was such a severe wound.”

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That's not a bullet wound, looks more like the entrails have been eaten out.
By Michael Tessitore (76), East Quogue, New York on Feb 10, 16 7:59 PM
Hi Mike...The wound was just above the tail on its back; I examined the hawk pretty good up close and it was otherwise in one piece and seemed healthy. The stomach and entrails were totally intact. Ah well, who knows. We're just lucky to have the great raptor population that we do.
By AlexB (2), East Quogue on Feb 11, 16 8:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
That hole could have been secondary damage. Another raptor, owl or car, could have led to the hawks death. Hunters don't shoot protected species, poachers do.
By Michael Tessitore (76), East Quogue, New York on Feb 11, 16 4:03 PM
2 members liked this comment
Got get rid of those evil duck hunters. So stupid; pure conjecture.
By Nukiepoo (123), Southampton on Feb 10, 16 8:12 PM
Duck hunters don't hunt with bullets; they hunt with shot. Bullets, which are shot from rifles or handguns, would be not only impractical, but incredibly dangerous because they travel much longer distances than shot does.

It's unfortunate that you were so quick to publish someone's assumption or best guess on the matter. As a duck hunter, I know how birds that have been shot look, and this one doesn't fit the norm.

My guess is that another raptor killed this sharp-shinned hawk ...more
By HollyHeyser (1), on Feb 11, 16 1:39 PM
5 members liked this comment
All good points.
By AlexB (2), East Quogue on Feb 12, 16 2:11 PM
Its unfortunate that you didnt get my sarcasm.
By Nukiepoo (123), Southampton on Feb 19, 16 8:58 AM
I've never seen hunters set out a snow goose rig in Shinnecock Bay. All other goose seasons are closed...
By cmac (184), East Quogue on Feb 11, 16 1:43 PM
Perhaps it fell prey to fowl play...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Feb 11, 16 5:49 PM
2 members liked this comment
But I guess we'll never know since the DEC was never notified as is required
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Feb 13, 16 7:44 AM
Doesn't look like a bullet wound to me, unless it was shot in the back. Entrance side wounds are very small. Very difficult to do if it was flying.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Feb 13, 16 1:38 PM