Swooping Hawk Injures New Canaan Man

A hawk swooped down from a tree Sunday morning in northwestern New Canaan and used its talons to scrape the top of a man’s head, drawing blood, officials say. The incident unfolded in the area of Lost District Drive and West Road as the man worked in his garden, according to New Canaan Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm. He and his family were aware that hawks had nested in a tree on their property and that their fledglings recently had hatched, she said. “They were actually very excited because they saw the nest and the activity and were very thrilled to have them there until [Sunday] when one swooped down and injured the guy when he was trying to work in the garden,” Halm said. New Canaanites regularly phone Animal Control about hawks—generally thought to be the common red-tailed hawk—swooping down from their nests, though it’s very unusual for one of the birds to make physical contact with a person, Halm said.

Black Bear Sighting on Old Stamford Road

Police say residents reported a black bear Tuesday morning in the area of Old Stamford Road just north of the Merritt Parkway. Multiple residents began calling in reports of the bear starting around 8 a.m., according to New Canaan Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm. Halm has said New Canaan is seeing an increasing number of black bears appear each spring. The animals often are drawn to bird feeders on residential properties. Halm encourages residents to haze the bears away.

Podcast: Wildlife in New Canaan 

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm about wildlife in New Canaan. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

‘We’ve Got a Serial Dumper’: Domestic White Bunnies Abandoned in New Canaan, Wilton 

Police say they’ve seen a series of blue-eyed domestic white rabbits dumped in New Canaan and Wilton in the past two weeks. The five bunnies found between the two towns—most recently on March 24 in New Canaan—represent an “unusual” number of abandoned rabbits, according to Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section. 

“We’ve got a serial dumper,” she said. Though rabbits “are always dumped, the recent string appears to point to one breeder, since all of the animals are white with blue eyes, according to Halm. The bunny recovered most recently near the Grupes Reservoir in northeastern New Canaan “was very clean and still plump so we don’t think it was out long,” she said. It’s possible the rabbits are being raised as “meat bunnies,” meaning someone is breeding the animals to be eaten, she said.