BBL May9, 2011






Dear Mr. Karim:


As Chief of the Bird Banding Laboratory, I contacted a local raptor rehabilitator who was also in contact with local raptor banders about attempting to safely capture the Red-tailed Hawk and remove the band. I do not have the authority to require anyone to attempt to capture this bird, and given the potential problems with safely capturing raptors in an urban environment, such an attempt should only be made by an experienced raptor bander. I made an effort, but if the banders choose to not become involved in attempting to capture this bird for any reason, that is their prerogative.


My only authority in this situation is over the bander who placed the band on this bird. To date, nobody has provided me with the band number so the BBL is currently unable to identify the person who banded this bird. As soon as the band number is provided to the BBL and the bander can be identified, then the BBL will take all appropriate actions allowable under its permitting regulations. The BBL does not have any enforcement authority under Federal Law, so any legal case against the bander would have to be pursued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.




Bruce Peterjohn
Chief
Bird Banding Laboratory
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
12100 Beech Forest Rd.
Laurel, MD 20708
phone: (301) 497-5646




-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: lincoln_karim@msn.com
To: bpeterjohn@usgs.gov; jmcnicoll@usgs.gov;
bcacace@gmail.com; pgwin@ngs.org; annewm@nytimes.com;
r2natres@gw.dec.state.ny.us; bobbyh5800@verizon.net
Subject: Bad band on Washington Square Hawk
Date: Tue, 10 May 2011 02:53:56 -0400


Bird Banding Laboratory
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Bird Banding Laboratory
12100 Beech Forest Road
Laurel, MD 20708-4037
Telephone:301-497-5790
Fax: 301-497-5717


Re: Ill-fitted and crippling band installed on a female red-tailed hawk now nesting in Washington Square, NYC.


BBL Chief
Bruce Peterjohn
bpeterjohn@usgs.gov
301-497-5646


May 9, 2011


Dear Mr Bruce Peterjohn:


I am writing to ask you to resign your position as Chief of the Bird Banding Lab and never to hold any position in any organization which deals with animals.
Your conduct in the case of the female red tail hawk from Washington Square shows your heartless and uncaring attitude.
In my opinion you have no place to be involved with animals ever again. You were unable to see, and even denied, the seriousness of the hawk's case and you lied to me by assuring me that you were going to have something done about it.
If you do not volunteer your resignation immediately I will post the contents of this letter on my website and make your incompetence known to all.


Lincoln Karim
www.palemale.com
(917) 763-4672


************************************************************************************************************************************


The following is the communication to you concerning this matter.


From: lincoln_karim@msn.com
To: bpeterjohn@usgs.gov
Subject: RE: Red Tail Hawk with bad band.
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2010 11:30:25 -0500


Dear Mr Peterjohn:


I hope that you would communicate to this local raptor expert that any action they take should always be in the best interest of the animal and not to do anything merely to pacify myself or yourself. I know you may say that you can trust the judgment of the expert, but I have developed a serious allergy to trusting the judgment of experts over the years.


The successful outcome from this Washington Sq hawk case should surely be greatly anticipated, but more so it should inspire a much further reaching outcome;
*that the practice of banding be re-thought and all the points which you brought up in your last letter be taken in account.
*the fact that the banded bird is being released in an urban environment with quite different conditions of a banded bird being released in the wild.
*seeing first hand the downside to this archaic practice, to consider as an alternative to banding a pair of binoculars, a notepad and a pencil to see if you can compare the wealth of data you can potentially obtain from the latter.
* The moral stance; that a degenerate human being whose own species is plagued with unaccountable and destructive behavior would have the audacity to look down on, and taint the natural beauty of, a perfect species who's life is perfectly in tune with its natural surroundings.


Lincoln


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To: lincoln_karim@msn.com
Subject: RE: Red Tail Hawk with bad band.
From: bpeterjohn@usgs.gov
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2010 10:12:12 -0500


Dear Mr. Karim:
I have contacted a local raptor rehabilitation expert who regularly works with New York City authorities on raptor-related issues to address this problem by capturing the bird and removing the band. I will rely on their collective expertise to determine the appropriate method to use to try to capture the bird and when these attempts should be made, with a view towards minimizing the chances that the bird will be injured during the process. Please recognize that attempting to capture adult raptors within large urban areas poses significant challenges with a fairly significant potential for injury or death to the bird. There are difficult trade-offs that need to be considered and no easy answers. The experts that I previously consulted were of the opinion that an adult bird coping with an injury is better off than having it severely injured or killed during an attempt to save it. That was their opinion because the potential for injury during a capture attempt in an urban area is that real. Again, there are no easy answers to this problem, but like you, I hope that this story will eventually have a happy ending.
If my response appeared cavalier, then I apologize. I would very much like to know who banded this bird and when this bird was banded, but unfortunately, your photos do not have sufficient clarity to accurately read the numbers on the band. So for now, we are not able to establish the identity of the bander. If/when their identity can be established, there will be consequences. If you can obtain photos that clearly show readable band numbers, then I would appreciate receiving them.
I am not sure how quickly events will unfold to try to resolve this problem. Those decisions will be up to the experts attempting to capture the bird. I truly wish them success but recognize the potential perils that exist in this process.


Bruce Peterjohn
Chief, BBL
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
12100 Beech Forest Rd.
Laurel, MD 20708
phone: (301) 497-5646


From: Lincoln_Karim S Karim
To: Peter John
Cc: Ben Cacace , Bobby Horvath
, Rebecca Heiss

Date: 12/22/2010 07:15 PM
Subject: RE: Red Tail Hawk with bad band.


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Mr Peterjohn:
The squirrel which the hawk is eating was given to her by her mate, she did not catch it on her own as you are assuming even if I am sure she is presently capable of catching her own food since this is the early stage. I am sending images of the early stages of the foot being impaired by the band and if the bird is caught and the band removed you can save her. To cavalierly respond that 'it is behaving as a normal wild raptor' is in my opinion irresponsible and demonstrates how little you and your organization care for the subjects which you take the liberty to handle. You obviously have more resources and authority at your disposal than I do--is that your best response?
When I ask you to take action I was hoping that you will at least make some effort to read the band to find out who put it on. Your response which took over seven weeks and had to be dragged out of you is more like a politician rather than a knowledge-seeking scientist.
I am a lay person providing field information to you which you are totally disregarding. A person who truly have the best interest of the animals that they are pretending to help will make some effort to investigate the case instead of responding from your armchair that all is well. If the bird looses her foot and most likely her life I'm sure you'll also have an excuse prepackaged and ready for delivery. I am sure you must agree that an investigation of this bird's predicament can surely provide some useful information on future banding practices should you continue to have your way with this futile and confounded practice.


Lincoln


Ps: Bobby and Rebecca please look at the band and in the picture which was taken on October 30, 2010 and kindly respond directly to Mr Peterjohn and tell him what you think it. It is obvious that he may rather communicate with a science oriented person than I.


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To: lincoln_karim@msn.com
Subject: Re: Red Tail Hawk with bad band.
From: bpeterjohn@usgs.gov
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2010 17:00:00 -0500


Dear Mr. Karim:
With all due respect, your photographs do not support your claim that the Red-tailed Hawk's leg is impaired by the bird band. Your photos show that the bird is very capable of using that leg to capture prey (a squirrel), carry prey, and to dismember prey. In essence, it is behaving as a normal wild raptor. We see no need to take any action at this time, but are willing to reassess the situation should circumstances change.


Bruce Peterjohn
Chief
Bird Banding Lab
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
12100 Beech Forest Rd.
Laurel, MD 20708
phone: (301) 497-5646
From: Lincoln_Karim S Karim
To: Peter John
Date: 12/16/2010 11:25 PM
Subject: Red Tail Hawk with bad band.


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Dear Mr Peterjohn:
Because of your shameful response to my many appeals concerning your organization's cruel banding practices I am going to circulate a petition for your resignation and also a public announcement of the negative side of your actions. Let this letter be a courteous warning.


Lincoln Karim
www.palemale.com


[attachment "30october2010-1304.jpg" deleted by Bruce G Peterjohn/BRD/USGS/DOI]








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