Local News

NCSU Halts Construction For Hawks

Posted June 20, 2003

— The Triangle is one of the fastest growing areas in the country. Sometimes growth and construction comes at the cost of wildlife. One project has stopped in order to protect a nest of baby hawks.

"We were doing our clearing and grubbing operation and one of the people working on the crew spotted a nest. We weren't quite sure if it was a fox or squirrel nest or just what type of nest it was," said Bill Simpson, project superintendent.

It turns out the find in a pine tree was an uncommon

Cooper's Hawk

nest with four babies.

The mother sits nearby, watching the construction crews watch her.

The site along Varsity Drive is the new public safety building for

North Carolina State University


"I got a call from the contractor and he said,'Hey, we found this nest we're not real sure what to do. What should we do?"' I gave them the old, stop! I'll be back as quick as I can get there and we'll look into it," manager John Palmiter said.

After some calls and research, the hawks were identified and work in the area stopped.

The hawks have altered construction plans just a little bit, but that is alright with the construction company and the university. In fact, well the hawks have become on campus celebrities.

The birds have become the unofficial mascots for the job site and people stop by throughout the day to get a look at them.

The Audubon Society said it is a rare opportunity to watch the federally protected and generally elusive hawks.

"To be able to get this kind of view of the four nestlings developing and the parent birds bringing food and feeding them -- it's very exciting and very unique," said Will Rowland of the

Wake Audubon Society


The young babies are expected to leave their nest in a few weeks, when construction work can continue.


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