Friday, February 10, 2006

New York City has no monopoly on creeps

Read 'em and weep. From yesterday's Boston Globe:

A red-tailed hawk fed its chick in their nest on a ledge at 6 Beacon St. in mid-May 2005. Yesterday (bottom photo), only a few sticks were on the ledge as the hawks rebuilt. (Photos by David L. Ryan/ Globe Staff)

Vanishing of nests ruffles feathers

In heart of city, hawk pair's plight worries onlookers

The pair of red-tailed hawks that have made their home on an 11th-story ledge overlooking the Boston Common in the last year have become beloved residents of the neighborhood. In office buildings and homes for blocks around, their likenesses are on computer screensavers, in desktop picture frames, sent by e-mail from one bird-lover to the next.

But suspicion has suddenly torn through the little community of hawk-watchers. The birds' nests have repeatedly disappeared. Daily observers of the ledge at 6 Beacon St. say that the twig home first vanished last month. The hawks rebuilt, stick by stick. But the nest was soon gone again, and the birds once again rebuilt. Some say that, in all, three nests have mysteriously vaporized. The latest was Tuesday morning, and fingers are now being pointed.

Talk is fierce and accusatory: Possibly someone with an office near the ledge is disposing of them, some say, someone who would have to deal with dead rodents and the occasional screech of the birds outside the window. An attorney whose office looks over the site of the nest, and who says he is an object of such speculation, is shocked and hurt.

''Everybody's calling about the hawks," a visibly upset Guy Carbone said yesterday. ''I became daddy rabbit to those birds."

The fracas recalls a similar flap in New York, where a pair of red-tails, dubbed Pale Male and Lola, nested on a Fifth Avenue building overlooking Central Park. In that case, the building's resident board said the nest was a hazard and had it removed. Wildlife advocates and residents, including Mary Tyler Moore, picketed out front, until the birds were allowed to make their home there.