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South American hawk that found its way to Maine is now memorialized in Deering Oaks

A bronze statue was unveiled at Deering Oaks Park in Portland on Friday to honor a great black hawk that made its home there.
Courtesy: WMTW
Courtesy: WMTW(WMTW)
Published: Jul. 18, 2020 at 9:03 AM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) -A bird that had no business being in Maine is now memorialized in a Portland park.

A bronze statue was unveiled at Deering Oaks Park in Portland on Friday to honor a great black...
A bronze statue was unveiled at Deering Oaks Park in Portland on Friday to honor a great black hawk that made its home there.(WMTW)

A bronze statue was unveiled at Deering Oaks Park in Portland on Friday to honor a great black hawk that made its home there.

The hawk, which is native to South America, was first spotted in Maine in late 2018 and drew huge crowds. It died in January 2019 from frostbite.

To put it in perspective, staff at Maine Audubon say seeing the great black hawk in Deering Oaks was the equivalent to seeing a zebra in Baxter State Park.

The nonprofit Friends of Deering Oaks Park wanted to honor the bird with a sculpture, and award-winning artist David Smus stepped up to the plate.

"This is commemorating a significant event that drew the whole community to the park to say, 'what is this doing here' and to learn about how it survived for two and a half months in a totally alien climate," Friends of Deering Oaks Park President Anne Pringle said.

The hawk was recognized as the “craziest vagrant of 2019” by the American Birding Association.

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