Red-tailed hawk a step closer to being NH's official raptor

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) New Hampshire's Senate has voted to pass a bill designating the red-tailed hawk as the state's official raptor, four years after House lawmakers rejected the bird as too violent.

Hampton Falls fourth-graders lobbied for the bill back then. One legislator had said it would make a good mascot for Planned Parenthood because it tears its prey apart, "limb from limb."

On Wednesday, Democratic Rep. Renny Cushing, a sponsor of the original bill, said it had been "hijacked by unrelated political debates in an embarrassing moment" for the Legislature.

Now in eighth grade, the students lobbied for a new bill and watched Wednesday as the Senate voted 24-0 for it. The Senate made a minor change and sent the measure back to the House, which also had passed it.

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