Building Nesting Platforms for Ferruginous Hawks
Utah Wildlife in Need is working with many partners to help Ferruginous Hawk populations in Utah’s Uintah Basin. We want to determine whether extra tall artificial nesting platforms can improve the nesting success of Ferruginous Hawks in areas being developed for oil and gas production.
Preliminary research has indicated that these extra tall poles fixed with a nesting platform can provide a height buffer from noise disturbances linked to energy development. Researchers believe that noise disturbance is a contributing factor in the decline of Ferruginous Hawk populations.
If 2009 is any indication, the project is on its way to helping Ferruginous Hawk. Of the seven nesting platforms installed, four experienced active nesting and more chicks were fledged on artificial nests than in the area’s natural habitat. This past May, ten additional nesting platforms were installed in an area that biologists felt was perfectly suitable for Ferruginous Hawks.
The first two years of the project was generously funded by Newfield Foundation in the amount of $40,000. Many of the nest platforms are in the Newfield Exploration site area. UWIN is also grateful to Rocky Mountain Power for the donation and installation of the extra tall nesting poles.
Continued research will enable our partners from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Bureau of Land Management and Newfield Exploration biologists to determine if taller nesting platforms will allow Ferruginous Hawks to successfully nest in their native habitat with active energy development. If this project is successful, it will help Ferruginous Hawks in the Uintah Basin and simultaneously allow continued energy development.
We estimate that this three-year project will cost $100,000 and need your financial contribution to raise $25,000 for the project in 2011! We will match the donations from other private corporations, government agencies and our general donor base.