A surprising guest kept staff on their toes after it claimed residence in a local library late last month in Tom’s River, New Jersey. According to reports, the intruding visitor was a red tail hawk. Someone saw the uninvited guest in the atrium of the building, according to librarian and public information officer Sherri Taliercio. As a result, the branch had to close early.
Once all the visitors were out of the library, library employees called first responders, including the local Fire Department, police, and local animal control. Unfortunately, despite the help, no one was able to capture the bird.
Later, the Sheriff’s department sent a trained falconer to help. The falconer confirmed the hawk was a “first-year” male that stood up to 22 inches tall with a wingspan of roughly 4 1/2 feet.
In addition, the animal control officer said he was in “good shape,” including healthy wings.
The next day, the bird was still in the library. Then, by the afternoon, it had been active in the second-floor ceiling. According to Taliercio, it was flying, hopping around, trying to keep from getting caught.
Later, the control officer had library staff remove several ceiling tiles outside the Library Administration Area and install a bird net. As a result, that immediate area was closed off so that the rest of the library could stay open to visitors.
Red Tail Hawk somehow evades capture, spends over a day in library
According to reports, the plan was for the hawk to see the light and fly into the net. Then, he could be safely removed. The library also arranged for a licensed hawk rehabilitator to retrieve the bird.
Finally, after days of waiting, the bird seemed to disappear on its own. Now, the staff at the library are still crossing their fingers that the curious bird has left for good.
“It has been over a day now since anyone has heard any noise from the hawk, and we believe it has safely left the building,” Taliercio said.
Bob Glass, a master falconer helping the library with their bird blunder, credits the library staff with resolving the problem independently. “The bird doesn’t appear to be in there anymore,” said Glass.
Glass said the staff went so far as to leave a cell phone in the conference room that was playing a recording of a bird chirping. He also said the hawk was a tough challenge. “I’ve been doing this for 40 years and this is the most complex case I’ve ever seen,” Glass said.
He added that calls about trapped birds, like the one from the library, have become increasingly common. He said the calls usually come from places like Home Depots or warehouses.