In 2004 a pair of Cooper's hawks (Accipiter Cooperii) nested in a tall skinny White pine in the back yard of the Laccetti residence on Candlestick Road. The nest was not discovered until June 22, when the young were fledging, but a least 3 were produced (including one dead on the nest), and one was caught and banded in June 23. This year the birds returned to Candlestick Road, but settled across the road in the back yard of Dan and Faith McCarthy, again in a tall, slender pine some 60 feet up. This year the nest was determined early enough to band all of the 5 young at an optimum age (about 3 weeks) on June 19. There were 4 males and 1 female. A small herd of Gaboons and well-wishers were on hand for the event.
These are the first Cooper's hawk nestings recorded in North Andover since the late '40's, when a nest was found by (or reported to) the late Oscar M. Root of Brook's School renown. It was located on Ward Hill neck, just about where the landfill and incinerator operation is now ensconsed. Back then the species was in decline due to the widespread use of DDT, which caused an egg shell thinning problem in certain kinds of birds. It has come back strong in other parts of the country since the latter was banned, but this is the first sign of it happening around here.
Submitted by Jack Holt of 858 Johnson Street, North Andover.
For 47 years Jack Holt has worked tirelessly for the preservation of owls, hawks, eagles and other important raptors (birds of prey) in our area. Jack is licensed to band birds with identifying tags and track their life progress. He is a recognized authority in owl and raptor studies, having written a book about the life of owls (The World of the Great Horned Owl) and published numerous articles in scientific journals. He was recently united with a Great Horned Owl in Ohio that he tagged as a baby 28 years ago and is believed to be the oldest recorded Great Horned Owl in history! You may not have heard of Jack before because he works quietly behind the scenes and in many cases as a volunteer, but he deserves much praise as his work is critical to preserving owls and other birds that enhance the natural beauty of North Andover and other surrounding towns.
Pictures courtesy of Dan & Faith McCarthy
To learn more about Jack Holt please read the artiicle "Dedicated by nature" which was published in the North Andover Citizen on June 30, 2006.