Harvey the Hawk is why we can't have nice things

I’m just going to warn you in advance that this story, which starts out looking like one of those really touching, feel-good tales flush with the milk of human kindness, turns into a hot mess in short order.

I’d actually thought that it wouldn’t and allowed myself to believe that for a while. So much of the news we cover here is uniformly awful. Terrible people doing terrible things to other people, government waste and corruption… the usual fare. And then there are natural disasters such as the one currently unfolding in Texas with the arrival of Hurricane Harvey. But as occasionally happens in the midst of such tragedy, small rays of light occasionally shine through. A dramatic rescue of an at-risk child. A stranger opening up their home to victims of the wrath of nature. And then there was this guy…

A cab driver named William Bruso returned to his vehicle and found a Coopers hawk sitting in the passenger seat. The bird refused to leave and go back out into the storm. Bruso took pity on the animal and decided to see if he could give it shelter. The resulting short video quickly went viral.

Aw… that’s sweet, isn’t it? I’ll confess that I had some questions myself because it seemed like very unusual behavior for a raptor and I was concerned that it might already be injured. But Bruso took the bird back to where he was sheltering from the storm himself and moved it into his room, providing it with some water and chicken livers. He named him Harvey the Hurricane Hawk. That led to a series of YouTube updates on the hawk’s condition including this one showing the hawk hanging out in a very well stocked bar.


That’s just adorable, isn’t it? Man and raptor, waiting out the worst of the storm in a dry, safe room. So what could go wrong? Well, this is the internet, so obviously something had to. If you go back and replay that second video again, check out the few frames around the 45 second mark where the camera swings around to the other side of the room. There on the wall there is… a Confederate flag.

The reaction in Bruso’s comment section was swift, predictable, brutal and utterly stupid. And we were once again off to the races.

It goes on from there. At great length. As I said above, I’m not a bird expert. I don’t know how well the bird is doing or if it should be eating chicken livers or how Coopers hawks feel about the confederacy in general. But at least the guy is trying. I wouldn’t have thought there was an animal rescue group or veterinarian office open in the middle of that maelstrom where Bruso could take it even if he was crazy enough to drive back out into the storm. You’re probably lucky to find a functional hospital bed in some areas around there. But according to the last update available, Harvey is indeed on his way to an animal rescue and they filmed the wildlife rescue person taking him away, so hopefully he will be okay.

But no. That’s not good enough. That Confederate flag means that the entire story is awful, right?

Thanks, internet. You never let us down.