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Ecofriendly rodent control on Beacon Hill

Hawk on a patio railing at the Boston Athenaeum

Dan snapped the hawk that's been using a fifth-floor railing at the Boston Athenaeum on Beacon Street as an observation post.

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Comments

Probably could have used him at the end scene of "The Departed"

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What can I do to encourage this bird to spend more time on my block? Our rat population blew up recently. I’m contemplating leasing about 100 hungry Burmese pythons once the weather warms up, but the raptor seems a better solution?

and let loose a pack of 'em. Profit now, regret later.

Regarding the bird, a serious but entirely speculative answer: Perhaps ensure there are good perches! Hawks seem to like to hang out on mid-size branches that are easy to land on (not too surrounded by foliage) and have a good view of the area. Usually these would be dead branches, which people have taken down out of fear of the branch falling on someone or something. So if you can stand leaving a big dead branch up, do so, I guess! (Woodpeckers will also thank you.)

At Waltham Fields, I helped re-cover their high-tunnel, a metal frame with an enormous plastic cover (80 ft long, I think). One issue people discussed was that hawks liked to perch on the ridgeline, but that their talons might be puncturing the plastic. Next time I came by, they had attached a vertical 2x4 on each end with a wire strung between them to prevent ridgeline landings—and each board had a nice rounded end for perching on. And indeed, there was a hawk availing itself of the perch, scanning for prey.

of Chinese needle snakes should do the trick

Then we send in the mongooses to take care of the snakes.

Monitor Lizards love a good mongoose snack. I think I'd rather have the rats though.

Nah it's cool, once the monitor lizards have cleared out the mongooses, we send in specially trained coyotes and turkeys, both of which we can source locally and therefore save the taxpayers a considerable amount.