Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Is It a Crime to Destroy a Hawk Nest?

We have broad-wing hawks nesting in our neighborhood each summer. A couple of years ago, they made their nest near the road and regularly strafed joggers and walkers. Getting nicked was a badge of honor. Not so in Manhattan apparently.

Someone destroyed a celebrated red-tailed hawk nest on Fifth Avenue recently. The Times has the story (registration required). Lots of people – including Mary Tyler Moore (but not, apparently, Dick Van Dyke or Ed Asner) – were outraged but no one spoke up to support the destruction. I was under the impression that nest-taking violated federal wildlife laws, but maybe not. Here’s the Times citing Marie Winn, who wrote a book about the red-tails several years ago:

“Ms. Winn said the federal Fish and Wildlife Service ruled in the 1990's that the nest was covered by a treaty adopted in 1918 to protect migratory bird habitats and could not be destroyed.

“But she said that more recent interpretations of the federal rules may allow people to interfere with migratory bird nests if they do so in the winter, when the nests are not used to raise offspring. Phone messages left for officials at the agency late yesterday were not answered.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was horrified to read of the destruction of the Redtail hawk's nest. This has been a landmark for years, a sign of the survival of nature amidst the hostility of a man-made environment. This is NIMBY at it's worst - I can imagine the conversation at the coop board meeting. "We love nature as long as it's convenient, tidy and preferably somelplace else." Shame, shame, shame. JWPines

12:09 PM  

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