Raptor Egg Rescue

Sometimes it’s difficult for humans and wildlife to coexist without causing inconvenience or harm to the other party.  Such was the case for this red-tailed hawk nest that sat in the line of fire of a construction project in Muncie, IN.  Luckily, the construction crew had the heart to call Soarin’ Hawk to help them relocate the nest, and was supervised by volunteer Pam who detailed the process:

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, I got a call from the Indiana Michigan Power Co. in Muncie, IN regarding a nest that had to be taken down because of construction.  They had an eighty foot pole with a nest on top filled with what he told me were osprey eggs.  The crew there did not want to disturb or destroy the nest or eggs, and they wanted Soarin' Hawk to be involved in removing the eggs.  After calls to Dr. Funnell, to ask what the best procedure was to take the eggs, keep them warm, and take care of them, I got a call back, telling me they were two red-tailed hawk eggs.  

I asked them if they could just move the pole, nest, and eggs to another location.  They said no because the new location would still disturb the nesting birds due to construction nearby.  I called our expert in bird behavior, Bob Walton, and he said the construction would not bother the birds.  I called the IM crew back and said that it would not bother the birds if we moved the pole and nest.  They agreed to do that, but still wanted someone from Soarin' Hawk to supervise.

I drove to Muncie and went up into a bucket with an IM crew member to remove the nest and eggs.  I put the eggs into a cooler with warm towels that had been microwaved.  The crew member used a shovel to remove the nest, which was huge and heavy. The crew took the pole down and moved it about one hundred feet from its original location, as parent hawks flew around us.  One of the parents came within two feet of our heads while we were removing the eggs.  

After the pole and nest and eggs were placed at the new location, we watched to see if the parents would find it.  Within a half an hour, both parents flew over the nest a few times.  One flew to an electrical substation nearby and perched on the top of a tower for about forty five minutes.  Another parent flew to the platform and perched on the edge of it, so we knew that both parents knew where their eggs were.  The crew member and I stayed for about forty five minutes before I drove home to make sure that a parent was going to stay with the nest.  A parent was still on the platform when I left.

Yesterday, April 13, the IM crew member said he saw movement in the nest, so we are assuming that a parent is sitting on the eggs.

Many thanks to the Indiana Michigan Power Co. for their help in relocating this nest; we are always grateful to work with people who have as much care for Indiana wildlife as we do!