Man frees trapped hawk with snowballs

Francis Geremia chased crows that were attacking a snared hawk, by throwing snowballs at them. His rescue earns him this yearâ??s Real Heroes Animal Rescuel Award

Nature photographer Francis Geremia was looking for the bald eagles along Syracuseâ??s Onondaga Creek near Onondaga Lake, when he spotted a red-tailed hawk, dangling upside down in a tree, its leg snared in old fishing line.

The retired city worker normally does not interfere with nature, but in this case he was bothered that another humanâ??s carelessness in leaving the fishing line had endangered the bird.

Crows were diving and attacking the trapped eagle, and Geremia, who could not reach the branch, started throwing snowballs at the crows to distract them.

The branch broke and the bird was able to untangle itself and fly away.

Usually, the Animal Rescue Award goes to an animal thatâ??s helped save a human. This year, Francis Geremia is honored for saving the hawk.

The Real Heroes stories are produced jointly by CNY Central and YNN. Read more about this yearâ??s awards and see the stories by searching â??Red Cross Real Heroes 2013â??