The Red-tailed Hawk family has succeed in having two eyas. Very hard to see them but I can hear them and see them flapping around high in the nest.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Nest Saved for Red Tailed Hawks March 9, 2010

Take a few minutes to check out the article on the red tailed hawks nest. For the past month I have been hearing about the trees possibly coming down. I emailed a councillor about the red tail nest and he went to bat for the hawks. See attached link for photo of the red tails and article.

PS I added the article to the blog but you should go to Inside Toronto to see the article. Not sure if the link will work but just copy and paste it to the internet.



Mar 08, 2010 - 12:57 PM

Trees used by hawks to nest saved near Scarborough Civic Centre

Trees used by hawks to nest saved near Scarborough Civic Centre. A red-tail hawk flies near the Scarborough Civic Centre recently. Plans for the location of a library by the civic centre were altered to save the trees that the hawks nest in. Photo/ANN BROKELMAN Photo-blogger Ann Brokelman has friends in high places.

For the past year or so, she has been watching a family of red-tail hawks who have taken up residence in the woodlot just outside her office at the Scarborough Civic Centre.

Brokelman has snapped pictures of these birds during her lunch break ever since her colleague noticed them flying outside the building. On her website, she has more than 1,000 pictures of these birds and has documented the feathered family throughout various stages of their life.

She started taking pictures when the parents began to build a nest for their eggs, and continued to watch when the fledglings first emerged from the nest and started their branching phase, a precursor to flying where they jump from tree branch to tree branch.

But a feeling of dread came over her when she learned that a new 15,000-square-foot library would be built in the vicinity of one of the oak trees the hawks had nested in.

"When I walked up to some of the trees, they were marked red and were tagged," she said. "I know in the area I live that this means they are coming down."

It turns out her concerns had merit.

Scarborough Centre Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker has been aware of these hawk sightings in the past, but it was only a couple months ago when he found out about the nest in the trees on the north side of Borough Drive.

So he had this in mind when he attended a staff meeting last month, where one of the revealed construction plans called for all of the trees on the north side of the street to be chopped down.

The trees, which are somewhere between 40 to 50 years old, sit on a steep, inaccessible grassy knoll.

Architects called the space awkward, and that it could be redeveloped for better use. They suggested the area be flattened to make way for an open public space that would lead to the library. It would serve a purpose, but it would ensure the destruction of the nesting grounds for the birds.

"I vetoed the plans to cut these trees down," De Baeremaeker said. "I said, 'No way!'"

Instead, an alternative plan which would see the $8-million library moved west of trees, effectively putting them out of harm's way, was considered.

After discussing the idea with library and forestry staff, it was decided that would be the best outcome. An allowance was even made to delay the construction project when the hawks migrate back to the area to nest, between the months of March and May.

This will help ensure these highly sensitive birds won't be frightened away and forced to locate elsewhere, or worse, abandon their babies.

While saving the trees may have been primarily an eco-conscious decision, De Baeremaeker said it also affirms all the work that has been done in the past to halt the development of condos in the Frank Faubert woods, just north of Ellesmere Road.

Painting a picture of the future, he said "What better a transition for people walking out of the library? You can leave with a book and go sit under a 50-year-old oak tree and enjoy it."

The library is slated to start construction in early 2011, and will open sometime in 2012.

To view Brokelman's photo blog, visit www.redtailnest.blogspot.com