Guardians of the urban raptor
Documenting the process
Complete with safety gear and loaned hard hats, Phillip Lennon, producer of Coral Tree Films and I were hoisted in the basket by the Sarens South Africa crane to the newly erected artificial nesting platform to snip the cable ties that had held the nest intact during the hoisting operation.
The view from the 18 meter high platform was absolutely stunning, looking out over the vast 300 hectare bushveld ridges and grassveld plains of Hans Meyer’s Farm. It seemed an incredibly well-suited site. The platform would be every bit as inaccessible as a natural sheer rock face with a full 360 degree surround view for a lucky Verreaux’s eagle pair. One kilometer northeast of the ANP we could see the moving traffic but the noise thereof was hardly audible, which is a far cry from the pylon nest site that is situated only 150 meters from the extremely busy Reading Interchange. Another bonus at the site the absence of obstacles or hazards such as power lines, isolators and high voltage jumper cables protruding from each pylon tower.
The concept of the ANP for large raptors has been in existence for approx. 35 years and extensively used in many European countries and the Americas to accommodate highly threatened birds of prey. In 2009 we managed to give such a nest to a lucky Verreaux’s eagle pair and Phillip Lennon was there to document it all. Take a look at his video!
You can find more detail regarding this project by clicking on the button below. Happy reading!