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Helping a hawk to take to the Shelter Island skies

In August, a Hay Beach couple called the Shelter Island Police Department to report “a large bird in their pool unable to get out,” Animal Control Officer Jenny Zahler said.

When Officer Zahler responded, she found a red-tailed hawk floating in the deep end of the pool. “I scooped him out and put him on the grass, but he was unable to fly” she said.

Officer Zahler transported the hawk to the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in East Quogue.

“They do amazing work there,” she said, describing how the Center treated the bird for a respiratory illness. “When I went to pick him up he was in an outside aviary flying around like nothing ever happened.”

Last month, along with her friend, Eleanor P. Labrozzi, Officer Zahler brought the hawk back to Hay Beach. When she released the bird, he flew to a fencepost and perched, but soon took flight “into a faraway oak tree,” she said.

All in a day’s work for Officer Zahler, who wants readers to know that she’s always on duty to help save local wildlife.

Contact her at (631) 749-5771 or [email protected].