Red-tailed hawk first suspected to be bald eagle

| Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, 1:41 p.m.

The discovery of an injured red-tailed hawk in West Homestead on Friday caused a brief scare among bird lovers, who initially feared the creature might have been one of several bald eagles that have been nesting in the area.

Local authorities contacted the state Game Commission, who sent an officer to the area of Route 837 near the ramp to E. Carson Street where the bird was discovered and identified as a hawk.

The Game Commission removed the animal.

West Homestead police Officer in Charge Jim Ferson said the bird, though injured, was intimidating, rolling over and showing its talons when approached.

“It didn't want us anywhere near it,” he said.

It was reported in the media this week that a young bald eagle born in April on a hillside in nearby Hays had not been seen recently by birdwatchers. There has been speculation the young bird may have flown south though its parents reportedly are still in the area.

Police said several news outlets called them after the injured bird was reported by emergency dispatchers.

Ferson said a pedestrian discovered the hawk at about 12:18 p.m. and thought it might be the eagle.

Local police did not know what brought the hawk down but said it appeared to have an injured wing.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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