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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 December 2004, 16:48 GMT
Outrage as famous NY hawk evicted
Pale Male (right) and his mate Lola sit on their 12th floor nest in March 2004 in New York
Sitting pretty: Pale Male had lived in Manhattan since 1993
New Yorkers have expressed outrage after a movie star was evicted from one of New York's swankiest districts and they are demanding his return.

The star in question is a red-tailed hawk known as Pale Male who had nested since 1993 on a Fifth Avenue apartment and was the subject of a documentary.

Officials said his nest on the building's 12th floor ledge violated city health and safety regulations.

But bird lovers say Pale Male is a "wonderful show of nature" in New York.

'Ambassador of the wild'

The drama began on Tuesday when workmen climbed a scaffold and ripped away the nest built over a cornice.

Some 25 people then gathered for a vigil to demand Pale Male's return.

"We have got a tremendous amount of e-mails from people who want to see the nest brought back," the executive director of New York City's Audubon Society, E J McAdams, was quoted as saying by the New York Times newspaper.

Pale Male carries a twig in flight earlier this year in New York
Pale Male tried to rebuild his home on Wednesday

"Pale Male is an ambassador of the wild in New York City. We would like to see the building have a change of heart," Mr McAdams added.

A lawyer for the apartment's residents said the nest had been taken away on the advice of the building's engineer, after some people complained that they had to live with what they described as a nuisance.

The lawyer, Aaron Shmulewitz, also said Pale Male and his family had brought "torn and bleeding animal carcasses" to the building's roof and pavement below.

Until recently, the hawks were protected by a federal treaty, which prevented the destruction of nests in migratory bird habitats.

But the US Fish and Wildlife Service - which administers the treaty - last year issued a clarification saying the removal of nests was allowed if it was done during a season when the nests were not being used to hatch or raise offspring.

Comeback attempts

Pale Male's decision to take up residence on the building overlooking famous Central Park with his mate, Lola, attracted bird lovers from around the world.

Since 1993, Pale Male sired 23 youngsters from nest, inspiring a book and a documentary film.

A day after being evicted, the hawk was seen carrying twigs in what some experts said was an attempt to reclaim his home.

But they said a new nest would not hold since the metal spikes that supported the old nest had also been removed.

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