Broad-winged hawks have been nesting in the North Platte area for at least seven years, which is unusual as in Nebraska this hawk species typically nests along the Missouri River and south of the Platte River.
“Their preferred habitat is eastern deciduous forest; apparently the North Platte neighborhoods with a lot of large trees are close enough to that for some of them as we now have a small breeding population here in North Platte.” said TJ Walker, NGPC District Manager, Wildlife Division and avid birder. “In past years the nests have been blown out of trees resulting in the loss of the young hawks.”
At least two young have been sighted in the nest this year.
Residents are being warned that if they walk or bike on the north side of the 2600 block of Birchwood for the next two to three weeks they may stand the chance of being dive-bombed by the adult birds protecting their nest.
“They are well equipped with sharp talons and a sharp beak” added Walker, who then suggested that North Platte residents should be urged to stay on the south side of the street in that block.
Broad-winged hawks prey on small mammals like mice and rabbits, small birds, reptiles and large insects.