Harris Hawks Plus Power Poles Equal Danger   2 comments

Ned's Nature Walk- blog

Ned's Nature Walk-9991 blogHarris Hawk on a power pole along the Sabino Canyon south border. — Image by kenne

Ned's Nature Walk-9717 blogGray caps placed over wires to protect rafters from electrocution. — Image by kenne

Raptors are often injured or killed on electric power poles in urban areas like Tucson. The poles make attractive perches for the big birds

Last December a Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalist found a dead Peregrine Falcon below a utility pole on the border of Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. The Tucson Electric Power (TEP) was contacted, responding quickly with representatives from the University of Arizona to evaluate the area. To reduce the possible electrocution of rafters, TEP designed caps to be placed on the power poles (gray caps in the third image above). 

Harris’s hawks occur in the United States only in the southern portions of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, with the largest concentration is between Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. Electrical power poles are like a magnet to raptors looking for the highest point they can find to perch, creating the largest single cause of mortality facing raptors.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has stated that due to the hawks’ nesting and hunting habits, they are at greater risk of electrocution than other raptors. “Harris’ hawks are unique in that they breed, nest, and hunt communally, they are vulnerable to multiple deaths at once.”


2 responses to “Harris Hawks Plus Power Poles Equal Danger

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  1. Great image! I love seeing these magnificent birds and want them all to be safe 🙂


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