[Photo from Jan. 22 via Bobby Williams]
As we pointed out last month, Christo and Dora, the red-tailed hawk parents of Tompkins Square Park, were rebuilding their nest that netted three offspring last year on the Christodora House on Avenue B and East Ninth Street.
We heard troubling news about this yesterday via Goggla, who monitors the hawks year-round in the Park via Gog In NYC.
Twice since Friday someone has removed the hawk nest and installed bird spikes, Goggla told us. The nest was empty on Friday and people watched the birds rebuild the whole thing on Saturday and Sunday. By yesterday afternoon, the nest was gone again.
Bruce at the Urban Hawks site is documenting the situation.
If the co-op owner, management company or a construction crew had a legitimate reason to remove the nest, their recent actions haven't dissuaded the hawks from moving. So, will the building just torture the hawks by removing the nesting materials each week until spring? That certainly would be cruel.
We're not sure about the legalities of any of this. As far as we understand it, (ethics aside) a nest can be removed if there aren't any eggs present.
Back to Bruce at Urban Hawks, who figures the situation will prompt the attention of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:
Let's hope that either the building is forced to let the hawks continue nesting on the Christodora House or if the hawks are to be evicted, that old nest site is properly prepared so the hawks begin to find an alternate nesting location as soon as possible.
And a bonus photo of Christo on Avenue A the other day...
[Photo by Bobby Williams]
UPDATED 2/11 — here's one reason why someone may want to prevent the hawks from nesting here.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Red-tailed hawks nest on the Christodora House
The hawks of Tompkins Square Park have laid an egg at the Christodora House
More eggsciting hawk news from the Christodora House
Breaking (heh) news: The hawks of Tompkins Square Park are officially parents
OMG baby hawks! (UPDATED WITH VIDEO!)
VIDEO: Watch the baby hawks of Tompkins Square Park dine on some rat
Red-tailed hawk parents Christo and Dora are building another nest on the Christodora House
Maybe the landlord charged that this was not Christo and Dora's primary residence and evicted them for breaking their rent stabilized lease.
It's probably not the hawks they don't want outside their window, but the dead rats.
The birds (not sure if the were hawks) that live across from Central Park in a tall apartment building had a similar ordeal. Apparently people that live in the building did not want telescopes and cameras with long lenses focused on their windows every weekend during the summer. There was a documentary made about it some years ago. I recall but don't quote me, there was a fine for destroying a "desirable" wild animal habitat but the coop owners had no problem paying it, this is the gold coast of NYC after all. Perhaps a similar fine could be in order. If the owners don't want the attention they perhaps remove the AC unit for one that only needs a vent such as the standing indoors type.
I love birds, so my first reaction was, these people are idiots for removing the nest, but the comment about the rats made me think. I love birds, but if a hawk built a nest on my air conditioning unit and was regularly bringing home small birds and rats to consume there, I wouldn't be happy. My air conditioner has slots on top, and who knows what would get in there and blow into my apartment. Is it possible for environmentalists to make a deal with the building that would allow them to attract the birds up to the roof where they could make a nest? That would be a solution.
These birds a protected and it's illegal to disturb their nests without a permit... This in clear violation of the Migratory Bird Act even though these birds are not considered endangered...
The Red Tail hawk on 5th Avenue was “Pale Male*” and here are some links going over that nesting issue.
Copy and paste from the Vanity Fair link:
"The author says she notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the removal, and an agent there later sent a stern letter to the building, informing management that it had violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a law dating back to 1918 that forbade the destruction of migratory birds—hawks included—their nests, or their eggs, and carried a stiff penalty. Winn herself received a scolding from the government for handling the nest. In subsequent communications, the building's managing agent was informed that there would be no fine this time, but that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would not be so understanding if the building made any attempt to move the new nest Pale Male had already built in exactly the same spot, again taking advantage of the anti-pigeon spikes."
Birds are filthy and for someone who's had them nest near their air conditioner, it's disgusting. The owners of the apartment probably thought it was cute but they should have put spikes on the A/C from the beginning. Now they're screwed.
What doesn't make any sense is that the home owner added the go pro camera to record the growing hawk family. Why the significant 180° shift? Perhaps a cheese cloth sheet between the nest and a/c. I'm sorry to learn this.
And from this link (looks like we are in the gray zone):
"The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) expressly prohibits the destruction of migratory birds and their nests, unless the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues a permit to do so. However, a 2003 policy memo authored by the Service defines the term "nest" narrowly, and allows nests to be destroyed without a permit if: (1) the nest was, "without birds or eggs," at the time of destruction, and (2) there is no "possession" of the nest during the act of destruction. This article describes why this policy is inconsistent with the MBTA; surveys the scientific literature to show how nests -- even those without birds or eggs -- can be critical to bird survival; demonstrates how the policy actually encourages nest destruction, even when viable alternatives to destruction are available; and suggests rules the Service should adopt to comply with the MBTA."
Of course, memo is from 2003. The Bush administration. Of course, 1% politics trumps science.
This is terrible and also surprising. I thought the coop owner was on board. Didn't they even host a webcam in their window last year to monitor the nest? Why the sudden 180?
I have forwarded this thread over to NYC Audubon.
I must admit if I these birds built a nest on my air conditioner I would not be thrilled. I would be quite concerned about bird waste and what ever is left from un-eaten rats making its way into my home. I wonder if moving the unit and leaving the cage is possible.
It is 100% illegal to disturb, destroy or remove a red-tailed hawk's nest in NY State. That's #1.
#2, this is mating season, and the hawks need a nest in which to place their eggs.
#3, hawks will return to the same nest, reinforcing it, over a period of years.
#4, as to the issue of rats: hawks are very clean and they do REMOVE from the nest the remains of any food - rats, squirrels, etc. - in a very timely way.
I emailed the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Hopefully they are able to intervene.
I'd be happy if they chose my AC and would take any needed health precautions to make it work for them and us...
I hope it's illegal and I hope the right folks intervene.
I totally get the reservations people have, but I think proper health and hygiene precautions could be implemented with absolute minimal effort.
I get such satisfaction whenever anyone - even birds - remind the 1% that they don't *actually* own the whole city.
@12:50pm: I'm with you - I'd be thrilled to have hawks choose my a/c on which to build a nest. They are magnificent creatures, and to watch the process from egg to fluff-ball to fledgling is a privilege.
Long ago I had a roommate who had a pigeon nest on the sill outside of his bedroom window. Really disgusting. The little bugs that accompanied the situation actually got in through the closed window. They got into his bed and clothes. A lot of things had to be thrown away including the mattress. It was very costly for someone working in retail. I don't know what kind of little critters come along with the hawks, but that could be why they want the nest gone.
A home owner has a right to remove such a nest. There is no obligation to house wild animals on one's windowsill.
The birds have plenty of places in the wild to build their nests.
(And I write this as an animal-rights activist and vegan).
- East Villager
I hope that the person doing it falls out the window and breaks their neck. Also, birds are not filthy; but don't let your ignorance get in the way of getting what you want.
@4:35pm: You are 100% wrong about a "homeowner's right" to remove a nest - when it's a red-tailed hawk's nest - and you are ALSO 100% ignorant of Federal and State laws protecting red-tailed hawks and their nests. If ignorance is bliss, you must be very happy.
I'd much rather have these beautiful birds building a best outside my window than the guy who tried to sex offend me.
It's comments like February 10, 2015 at 5:28 PM that make me dislike so many animal rights people so much. Piss off.
i think the people have a right to tell the hawks to get lost. i have spikes on my AC too fuck pigeons and birds who get too close.
If this was a pigeon nest nobody would care if you hosed it off
@10:05: You "think the people have the right to tell the hawks to get lost" blah, blah. No, you DON'T think, that's very clear! And you sure don't make the rules. Hawks rule!
The amount of legal/scientific ignorance displayed on this thread in a Manhattan based EV oriented blog regarding this issue is astounding. To you all let me quote someone who stated your point of view a lot earlier (1967) and with a lot more style:
“he's up on the roof with his boids. He keeps boids. Dirty... disgusting... filthy... lice-ridden boids. You used to be able to sit out on the stoop like a person. Not anymore! No, sir! Boids!... You get my drift?”
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