Bird of Prey Nest Removal/Relocation
Sometimes we have to get creative when dealing with out-of-the-ordinary problems.
Such may be the case when birds of prey chose a nesting site that puts them in direct conflict with humans. We increasingly receive calls to construction sites, communications towers, silos, airports, etc. with issues that require custom solutions or services. With our extensive experience of handling birds of prey, we have gained knowledge of their habitats and nesting requirements. With the right permits, we can relocate these nests, or when not possible provide alternative nesting site for these birds.
Red-Tailed Hawk Nest Removal and Alternative Housing
In this particular situation a Red-Tailed Hawk decided to build its nest in the trusses of an open sided Quonset hut at the City of Toronto Transfer Station. This mother was very protective of her eggs. She would swoop down and smash into workers' heads; they had to use umbrellas as a form of protection while walking in the general area of the nest. Even after the employees were inside their heavy equipment, the Red-Tail would still target them by smashing into the windows as if directly aiming for them. By the time this situation was brought to our attention, the eyases (baby hawks) were already far enough along that the nest was left alone until the fledglings were able to leave on their own. Once an empty nest was observed, it was destroyed in an attempt to discourage nesting the following year (Pictured below). The client did not want to invest in exclusion netting at this point, as this was their first time with this issue.
The winter came and went and the Red-Tailed Hawk decided to re-build her nest in the same location. This time we decided to take a different approach to ensure the safety of the workers. The removal of the nest was essential and an alternative nesting site was required. In a nearby tree, we built a wooden platform (pictured below) and provided natural nesting material for a new nest to be made. This year there were another three babies in the nest. The eyases were carefully removed and taken to our care facility, but not without a fight from the mother. The C.E.O. of Hawkeye, Dan Frankian, personally took on the task of dealing with this dangerous and unique task. In the photos, you can see that Dan is wearing three pieces of personal protective equipment on his head alone, including eyeglasses, a helmet, and a face shield. If you don’t already know, Red-tailed hawks, and birds of prey in general, are quite intelligent. On a thick foggy morning; one of those mornings were you can’t see two feet in front of you, Dan went to remove the eyases from their nest. This mother flew down, through the fog, to attack Dan. She managed to swoop in at the exact angle to achieve a direct face hit despite all of the protection and precautions that were taken. This really goes to show that this job can be very dangerous, and that if you have a similar situation, a professional technician should be contacted.
Once the babies were able to fly, they were returned to the alternative nesting site where the mother had already started making a new nest. All birds were treated humanely, and this family was safely reunited. The client decided that exclusion netting would be a good idea at this point so we covered the entire inner roof with specially designed netting to ensure no other birds would be able to nest there.
Here is the release of the young hawks: