TOMS RIVER — An unexpected visitor has kept staff and guests busy as a red-tailed hawk has been staying at the Township Branch of the Ocean County Library since Monday night.
When the bird was sighted in the building’s atrium, the branch closed early at 7:45 p.m., according to librarian and public information officer Sherri Taliercio
First responders — including the Toms River Fire Department, Toms River Police Department and the local animal welfare agency — tried to capture the hawk but failed.
The Ocean County Sheriff also sent a trained falconer to assess the situation.
It has been confirmed to be a “first year” male hawk, standing up to 22 inches tall with a wingspan of around 4 1/2 feet.
He was in “good condition,” including healthy wings, and was not in immediate danger, according to control officials.
The bird was still indoors Tuesday and active in the second-story ceiling in the afternoon, flying and hopping about and still evading capture, Taliercio said.
Library staff removed several ceiling tiles outside of the library administration area and installed a bird netting as instructed by the control officer.
This immediate area has been partitioned off to allow the rest of the library to remain open.
The plan was for the hawk to see the light and fly into the net for safe removal.
Through the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the library has hired a licensed hawk rehabilitator to recover the bird once it’s caught — to ensure the safety of the animal and the public, Taliercio added.
Red-tailed hawks are known to live throughout the state and are often seen year-round – albeit outdoors.
Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at [email protected]
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