Our hawk swooped down this evening, giving me a lovely show of the under belly and perched in one of the trees in the yard just behind us. Does it live there? We don't quite know. It's pretty nifty if it does. It definitely lives close by.
Hawks are federally protected. They are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. I was reading up on it and found this section to be particularly disturbing.
I mean really, do people have to beat on trees, run after birds (and step on them) and to ignore postings to keep out of protected areas just to get a photo?
What Might be a Violation of the Act?
One example of a violation of the Act occurred in Arizona in the 1970s. A nesting pair of Common Black-Hawks (Buteogallus anthracinus) was found in an area frequented by birders. Overly enthusiastic individuals, in their attempts to observe and photograph the pair, caused the nest and its contents to be abandoned. Although no one was charged in this incident, the collective actions of the birders resulted in the "taking" of migratory birds because the eggs were "killed" as a result of the parent birds' absence.
There are a number of incidents involving rails, birders, and violations of the Act. several examples of Black Rails (Laterallus jamaicensis) being pursued, captured, and photographed in the hand exist for the eastern and western seaboards of the U.S. In the mid-1970s, a group of Wisconsin birders chased a Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) around a sandy area in Milwaukee harbor. Eventually, the exhausted rail was stepped on by an overly enthusiastic human. The "take" provision of the Act was violated by the attempted capture and killing of the bird.
A practice used by some birders to view hole-nesting birds is to repeatedly hit the side of a nest tree, causing the adult birds to leave the hole. This activity can be considered "taking" if the bird is intentionally chased from its nest and the inadvertent death of young birds or abandonment of eggs occurs.
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Texas hosted a Golden-crowned Warbler (Basileuterus culicivorus) and a Yellow-faced Grassquit (Tiaris olivacea) from late January to early February 1990. Excessive pressure by birders caused refuge personnel to cordon off an area of the refuge frequented by the grassquit to ensure some protection of both the vegetation and the grassquit. Despite the site's being prominently fenced, numerous birders crossed over the cordon, trampling and destroying vegetation. Their behavior may have ultimately caused the birds (both the warbler and grassquit) to depart the area. Although no violation of the Act occurred, these activities took place on a National Wildlife Refuge in violation of the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee; 80 Stat.927) (hereafter, the "Refuge Administration Act").
Although the Act does not specifically prohibit harassment to view birds, it is a different matter with the ESA. The ESA specifically prohibits people from harassing endangered or threatened species. In general, intentional or negligent actions that cause an endangered or threatened species to significantly change its normal behavior patterns (e.g., nesting, feeding, shelter) to the extent that the likelihood of injury to the animal may occur can be considered harassment under the ESA (50 CFR 17.3).
We'll happily keep our early morning calling Red Shouldered Hawk. We like having him around. We'll be thrilled to watch him from a distance. We're thrilled to have our neighborhood claimed by him!
Smiles in my day:
- K- believing in the Pick-Up Fairy and leaving small gifts for her. (Adopted from this months Parents magazine, if I remember right.) The Pick-Up Fairy, to those who don't know, is a fairy that shows up after children are sleeping to confiscate toys that have been left about and keeps them for a week. She keeps wanting to leave a snack for the Pick-Up Fairy, but I told her that I called and checked to see when her snack night is. I told her it is Thursday. The child is planning a buffet fit for a king for the Pick-Up Fairy! And yes, all of her toys have been tidied and her room is spotless. HOORAY!
- A less annoying customer day.
- Julia was on an up-yo day. Yesterday was a down-yo day. A very down-yo day. (Her mom died a month ago.) She's having a time of it, but I was glad to see her smile today.
- My father-in-law was pleased with the repair job that Hubs did on their cupboard door that I broke Tuesday. Long story short, K- lacks in "listening to her fill-line" and Tuesday evening ended in her emptying the contents of her stomach onto the concrete outside of their garage and all over their bathroom floor. I grabbed a container out of the kitchen cupboard and smacked the door as I was running. I cracked a portion of the door, but now it is all fixed and re-hung. Thanks, Hubs!