He is a local hero-n.
An eagle-eyed Kensington resident aided a kestrel in distress on Coney Island Avenue on Aug. 11, marking his second rescue of a wounded fowl this summer. But the good Samaritan — who in June shepherded a sickly goose off Ocean Parkway long enough for a professional animal rescuer to come to its salvation — said coming to the aide of an ailing bird of prey was a whole different animal.
“I never expected to come across a small bird of prey on Coney Island Avenue,” said Ocean Parkway resident Antonio M Rosario.
Rosario, a photographer and cameraman, was on Coney Island Avenue between Courtelyou and Dorchester roads filming a segment for community television station Bric TV when his lens fell upon the downy critter in distress on the sidewalk.
In the high heat, the camera jockey didn’t realize he was looking at a real-life kestrel — a type of small falcon, which distinguish themselves by hovering over their prey before striking.
“At first I thought it was a pigeon, then I thought it was a parrot, and then my brain kicked in, and I realized, ‘Hey, he’s not green!’ ” said Rosario.
It took a few attempts to properly gather up the bird, which had lost the power of flight, but was nonetheless able to peck and claw at his benefactor, the photographer said.
The bird looked parched but after several failed attempts to persuade the beast to drink some water, Rosario and his producer Shirin Barghi canceled their shoot and hailed a cab to Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Windsor Terrace, which had assisted him with the daring goose rescue a few weeks prior.
There, volunteers contacted a specialist bird rehabilitation clinic located in the city, which came to pick the bird up and will hopefully release it back into the wild when it is well, according to Rosario.
Sean Casey Animal Rescue did not return requests for comment.