Article Overview:  Predators are flying over Bryant Park in New York City hunting Terrorists below.   Their mission, to instill Fear, Intimidation and Complacency in their victims--to drive them away.   Is it right to Terrorize the Terrorists?   Find out.


Monday--April 21, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 586
Terror Predators Hawk & Stalk New York City Parks
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Apr. 21--With the war in Iraq winding down to the art of managing the anarchy of freedom, a new clear and present threat looms over at least one of New York City's most famous parks.

A Harris Hawk readying to grapple its victim

       It's a Predator circling above the city, looking for "kill" targets below.
      Unsuspecting thousands of New Yorkers mill about Bryant Park, eight acres of greenery located directly behind the world famous New York Public Library, unaware that slicing in the sky above is a hungry Predator, eager to slash his talons into the innocent, unsuspecting flesh of his victims strolling and bobbing their heads below, peacefully trying to eek out a life in the madding crowd of humanity.
      The Predator is equipped with incredibly advanced laser-like vision, able to detect a twitching whisker or an eye-blink from literally thousands of feet above the park.  His job--to kill with indiscriminate passion the unwary, the unprepared below, and do it with surgical precision so that few if any of the New Yorkers realize what he is doing until it is too late.

Mr. Harris "Starbuck" Hawk teams up and dives and swoops on the "enemy below."

       The Predator's name is Mr. Harris "Starbuck" Hawk.  Like most Terrorists, he works in a cell, or a pack.   He teams up with others of his kind to dive and swoop down on the "enemy below."   And, like any Terrorist, his job is to inject Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into the mass below.
      Terrorism, unfortunately, is often limited to the idea of killing others.   The core of Terrorism is not about the deaths of the innocent, but the ripples and waves of fear it creates in those who survive.   The goal is by "cutting off one head you can make thousands bow in fear."
      Mr. Harris "Starbuck" Hawk is doing just that.
      He is flying death to his victims.
      When they see him, Fear, Intimidation and Complacency boil within, and they run for cover, fearful the Predator will seek them out to set an example to others.  Such is the way of Terrorism--to make the world kowtow, to rule by Fear.
      Another example is Iraq.   For over two decades Saddam Hussein ruled with violence.   Anyone who opposed his rule was tortured, raped or put in prison.   The rest of the society of 24 million people, trembled in Fear, doing Saddam's bidding.
     Now, liberated, the people are rising up from the state of oppression, speaking out, demonstrating, following their religious preferences, tasting the fruits of freedom which include anarchy.

       But New York's executive director of the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, a private not-for-profit organization, has elected to use "Saddam Hussein Tactics" to rid his "kingdom" of its natural freedom, and to impose "Terroristic Rule."
      His target is the pigeon population of Bryant Park, where an estimated 5,000 New Yorkers spend their lunch hour every day under constant threat of being bombed by pigeon poop.
      One man in an expensive business suit was taking a bite of his sandwich when a pigeon flying overhead unleashed his waste, part of the pigeon poop spattering it on the $6.95 deli sandwich and the remainder blasting against his $1,500 suit.

It appears pigeon flocks have been reduced at Bryant Park

       In what is termed an "ecologically safe" assault on the pigeons, the restoration society funded $15,000 to hire Master Falconer Thomas Cullen, 51, who helped reduce the bird population at JFK airport.    There seagulls rather than pigeons were the threat.  Flocks near the seaside tarmarc were flying into jet engines when planes took off and landed, presenting a safety threat.   Cullen's use of Harris Hawks and falcons to drive away the gulls reduced the damage to the aircrafts, which was estimated to be $4 million a year, by 60 percent.
       Predators are also used for bird control at Edwards Air Force Base, and at commercial airports in Toronto and Nagano, Japan.

Cullen and his assistants fly Harris Hawks over the eight acre site from 9a.m. to 5 p.m.

       In midtown New York's Bryant Park, Cullen and his assistants fly Harris Hawks over the eight acre site from 9a.m. to 5p.m.   He keeps the hawks in a van, and after one flies, he releases another, rotating them.
       One of the most hard-working hawks is named Starbucks.  Harris Hawks are about 18 inches long and have a wing span of about 45 inches.
        Pigeons recognize the hawks as their natural enemy--their "Terrorists."  The hawks are the only raptors that fly in packs--working as teams to drive the prey toward waiting allies who swoop down once they are exposed with deadly talons and ripping beaks.
       The battle in Bryant Park, however, is a bloodless war Cullen says. "Our goal is not to kill the pigeons but to increase their stress level so they stop populating the park.

Live baby chicks are not fed to Cullin's Hawks

      To sate the thirst to kill the prey, Cullin's Harris Hawks are fed dead baby chickens by their handlers out of eyesight of the public.  The bloodless Terror is used because the idea of a young child watching a Harris Hawk's talons rip into the neck of a pigeon or seeing the hawk's scythe-shaped bill carving into the pigeon's entrails for lunch, would raise more concern among the public than the pigeon poop.
       The more "humane" idea of breaking a baby chick's neck and feeding the dead infant to the hawk out of the public's view was far more appealing to the falconers and the restoration group.
      Using TerrorHawks isn't a new idea to instill Fear and Intimidation into the pigeons.
      Our allies in Iraq, the British, gave Cullen the idea, he says.

A Harris Hawk named Buzz flies at 4 a.m. every morning to circle London's most famous landmarks

      In England, the Tower of London was plagued by pigeons, he said, fouling the historic site with their waste as well as creating a nuisance to visitors.  Some also claim that pigeon droppings carry various diseases, adding a health threat. Several falconers compete for business where a yearly contract to keep sites pigeon-free is worth over 40,000 pounds.
      Hawks and falcons were successfully used by the Brits to remove the pigeon threat, Cullen says.
      The message the TerrorHawks offer the world is:  "When is Terrorism bad and when it is good?"
      Some might argue the pigeons have a right to the park, and there are people in the public who don't mind pigeon droppings splattering on them.  "It's part of New York City culture," said Jan Lane, a frequent park visitor.  "If you're not ducking pigeon poop, you're not a real New Yorker."
     Then there are the animal rights advocates.   As with the anti-war protestors who denounced America's role in Iraq, there are those who believe the rights of the pigeons supercede the rights of the humans.
     "Pigeons were here first," they claim.

Cullen claims pigeons are not indigenous to New York City

      Cullen argues that point.   "Pigeons are not indigenous to the city.  They followed the people," he said.  
      Then there is the question of violence.  Is the breeding of baby chicks and breaking their necks just after a hawk flies, a justified way of rewarding the hawk?   Is the life of a baby chick worth the price of pigeon-poop freedom?
      In Iraq, as in all wars, the issue of the price of collateral damage is raised to measure the justness of war.  Some claim that the price of a baby chick's life isn't worth the reduction of pigeon poop.
      If Terrorism has a role in society today, it is to remind us that it never goes away--even when it comes to managing pigeons.

Harris Hawk on a mission over North Korea

       Right now, we're trying to fly Harris Hawks over North Korea.  Our mission--to keep the North Koreans from building radioactive pigeon poop to drop on us, or our allies.  And, then there's the question of whether the North Koreans will sell their radioactive pigeon poop to other Terrorists.
       So, when we meet with North Korea this week in China, our negotiator should strut into the conference room with a Harris Hawk on his arm, followed by an aide who is snapping live baby chick necks and feeding them to the hawk.
       That should make the North Koreans tremble.
       Then, there's Syria.  And Pakistan.  And Iran.   And, there may be a lot of other places that threaten to drop pigeon poop on us, and others.
        It gets a little muddy, doesn't it?   Is a Terrorist the pigeon or the hawk?  Hmmmm.
        I guess it all comes down to one simple point of view--What's the intent of the pigeon?  What's the intent of the hawk?

Sentinel of Vigilance for the preservation and protection of the Children's Children's Children

        If the intent of either is to threaten the safety, security and future freedom and prosperity of the Children's Children's Children, then it has to be a Terrorist.  

Pigeons bathing in Bryant Park fountain


       If the intent is to preserve and protect the safety, security and future freedom and prosperity of the Children's Children's Children then it is a Sentinel of Vigilance.
        But who answers the question?
        Does the woman who likes the pigeons answer or the one who likes a clean suit?
        I'm glad I don't have to wrestle with the moral dilemma of Terrorizing pigeons in Bryant Park.
        I'm glad I can look at the people in Iraq demonstrating both for and against the U.S., and also glad that our Harris Hawks of Vigilance rid the world of Saddam Hussein's pigeon poop.  





  Afternoon in Bryant Park

   Bryant Park's beautiful flora and fauna

                   Pigeon  with a foot disability                                                         Mating:  "Tail-dragging"

                               Male: Puffing                                                                  Mating:  "Driving"

                                                                                    Pigeon Peculiarities


April 20--Happy Easter-Passover 2003

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