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Crane outside Univ. of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics becomes home to a family of hawks

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 6:03 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - As many Hawks at the University of Iowa get ready to graduate and leave the nest, a similar scenario is happening right outside UIHC’s front doors. Only these are actual Hawks.

Luke Hart with the Raptor Advocacy Rehabilitation and Education group, or RARE, says they found out about the nest in early March.

“Man made structures are an attractive nesting site for a lot of wildlife and this definitely fits the bill,” he told TV-9. ““We were made aware that some sticks were being placed on the scaffolding of the crane and that two red-tailed hawks were making some serious intent on nesting there.”

Just last Wednesday, two of the three eggs hatched.

The RARE Group is now asking that UIHC and the construction company do their part in helping protect the family of hawks.

“We would ask that all activities involving going up and down that crane would suspend until those babies that have been confirmed to have hatched fledge successfully or leave the nest successfully,” said Hart.

Hart says it will likely be another 5 to 6 weeks before they are grown enough to fly off on their own.

Regardless of the stage of life, these birds are protected under the migratory bird treaty act. It’s been in place since 1918 and prohibits the killing, capturing, selling, trading, and/or transport of protected migratory bird species .

“You can’t do anything to disturb an active nest, so the best thing is to be aware of what species it is. Some species are more territorial than others,” said Iowa DNR Avian Ecologist Anna Buckardt Thomas

While activity could legally continue on and around the crane, Buckhardt Thomas says it’s likely the parent hawks will be aggressively protective and potentially attack any person that comes near the nest.

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