Cathedral of St John the Divine-Peacocks-Jim Harry Phil-Morningside Heights-NYCPhoto by Instagram user @b.mann88

Coexisting alongside the 8.5 million people in New York City are the animals that have made the Concrete Jungle their home. This most obviously includes pigeons, squirrels and rats, but a plethora of other animals stalk the streets of the city. Some become so well-known that they eventually turn into symbols of New York themselves.

In a previous post, we took a look at some of New York City’s most well-known female residents, who live in bodegas, hotels and bookstores. Now, we’re covering 10 of the city’s most famous animals throughout history. (This, by no means, is an exhaustive list, so let us know your favorite New York-based critters, creatures and pets in the comments below.)

10. Pale Male, the Red-Tailed Hawk

Image via Flickr: Jeremy Seto

Pale Male needs no introduction: the “world’s most famous red-tailed hawk” has plenty of fans in addition to his very own Wikipedia page. Born in 1990, he became one of the first “urban-dwelling” red-tailed hawks known to reside on a building rather than nestling in a tree or on a cliff. Due to his perch on top of a 5th Avenue balcony near Central Park, some of his neighbors over the years have included the likes of Woody Allen and Paula Zahn. 

One of his zealous supporters was actress Mary Tyler Moore, who advocated for his rights when the co-op board that controlled Pale Male’s building removed his nest due to complaints about droppings and eaten animal carcasses. With help from other animal rights activists, Moore took a fierce stand, which prompt the board to come to an agreement between the local Audubon Society. Pale Male’s nest was eventually replaced, and over the years, birdwatchers and websites like have continued to monitor him.

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