NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - A red-tailed hawk in New York City has quite a tale to tell. It starts Sunday on the FDR Drive where the bird likely hit a car or building and ends at the Wild Bird Fund on the Upper West Side where he is being nursed back to health.
The hero of the tale is a mystery cab driver who saw the injured bird of prey and someone grabbed it off the roadway.
"He took it upon himself to scoop him up and he proceeded to drive with him," Ariel Cordova-Rojas, a Wild Bird Fund animal care manager, said. "On one hand, he was driving the cab, with the other hand he was actually holding on to the red-tail hawk."
While driving with the bird in hand, the cabbie went in search of an NYPD patrol car, going all the way to Brooklyn where he finally handed it over to officers. They put it in a carrier and brought it to the Wild Bird Fund on Columbus Avenue, the only wildlife rehab center in the city. Staffers there named it, what else, Taxi.
Like most red-tailed hawks, Taxi has quite the set of talons on him, and even skilled handlers are impressed by the cab driver's bravery. Cordova-Rojas said the driver is very lucky he didn't get injured.
"I think it's super impressive the bird did not cause any damage to himself in the taxicab or the driver," she said. "That's a pretty brave thing to do."
Taxi is now on the mend. He had no broken bones and was just dehydrated and in shock. Everyone is relieved this tale has a happy ending.
"Whoever you are, Mr. Taxi Driver, thank you so much for saving this bird," Cordova-Rojas said.
The folks at the Wild Bird Fund would love to meet him.
Taxi will likely be released in Central Park over the weekend.