Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Red Tail Hawks Evicted
A Red Tail Hawk dubbed Pale Male and his mate Lola recently had their nest torn down from the 12th story ledge of a ritzy 5th ave apartment building that the pair had called home since 1993. It's amazing that Red Tails live amongst us in this concrete jungle. I get a big thrill every time I see a Red Tail in Central Park. The Central Park Hawks have been famous for years, captivating minds and inspiring hearts. The subject of a documentary film "Red Tails in Love" and a book.

The nest was removed by the buildings co-op board on a dark rainy night with no fanfare or attention. When the forced eviction was noticed by hawk watchers, the outcry was so loud it became the biggest news story in the City for the last week. It has sparked protests and candle light vigils. The hawks have been spotted circling their former nest site with twigs in their beaks.

Building management has cited safety and health reasons for the removal of the nest. The claims:

1. The birds nest will cause the CONCRETE building facade to collapse.
2. West Nile Virus and Lyme disease.
3. Twigs falling.

Oh my!!!

Sounds like public relations spin to me. The real reasons discussed at the co-op board meeting which decided the fate of the Red Tails: Residents complaining of bird droppings and the occasional pigeon carcass.

Now my friends in the blogophere Here and Here. Have come out in support of the building and against Pale Male and Lola.
I'm all for private property rights and if the good people of 927 5th Avenue decide to be selfish assholes, so be it. I can understand that most people don't want to see a pigeons head on the sidewalk. Maybe some residents see a big brown nest on the side of their building as an ugly blemish. These people really should just suck it up and learn to deal with the fact that their bulding was chosen in natures lottery. Apparently these people are too small minded to appreciate how special it is to have a Red Tail nest on their building. But like I said, private property, they will do as they please.

I have a problem with how they went about tearing down the nest. Instead of consulting a hawk specialist to find a solution to the problem, such as moving the nest to a new site. Or even consulting an architect to find a way to keep the nest. They tore the nest down and stuffed it into plastic trashbags for disposal.
In the media storm that followed tearing down the nest, the building has bowed down to public pressure. Today that is exactly what they are NOW doing. Building consults architect to help hawks rebuild in the same spot.

As I said, it's private property and the building owners can do what they want. I also say people have every right to protest the actions of the building and hold candle light vigils for the hawks. This does not make them Moonbats or Liberal Looneys or even liberal.

One question for the Hawk Haters. If it was a Bald Eagle what would your response be? Oohhh a tough one!! Conflicting your sense of patriotism the Bald Eagle symbolizes with your need to hate all things you consider liberal. Are you squirming?

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