Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Why is it Legal to Destroy a Hawk's Nest?

Jane-Kerin Moffat sent an e-mail with an interesting question about the celebrated red-tailed hawks on 5th Avenue. For a long time it had been a federal crime to collect or destroy a bird's nest. But within the last decade or so the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reinterpreted the law to make it a crime to destroy a nest only during nesting season; in winter, you could take down a nest with impunity. But of course some birds build new nests every year and others return to the same nests over and over -- that's the whole rationale for building the nesting platforms for osprey that have become relatively common along the Sound, for example.

Jane asks the logical question: "Why have F&WS regulators chosen to lump the nests raptor species that habitually return to the same nest and build them up further year after year, with the nests of migrants which abandon their nests
for good at the end of the nesting season?"

Why indeed.

Another question: Manhattan's red-tailed hawks are already showing signs of courtship and are bringing sticks to their nest site. Aren't courtship and nest-building definitive proof that for the hawks, nesting season has begun? If so, why would the Fish & Wildlife Service approve the destruction of the 5th Avenue nest?

If anyone knows the answer to either of these questions, I'd be happy to hear about it.

Meanwhile, the owners of the building on 5th might be caving


Anonymous inchirieri apartamente cluj said...

If the hawk returns to its previous nest then I don't think it is legal that the nests to be destroyed.

9:57 AM  

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