Working Alongside our Flying Friends

Cedar Park PEC crews delay radio tower removal to preserve red-Tailed hawks.

A few years ago, PEC Cedar Park Regional Operations Director Jason Murray and his team had plans to remove an old radio tower in their district, but the project was put on pause when they discovered an active red-tailed hawk’s nest.

After looping in Senior Telecommunications Specialist Chris Varela and Electrical Distribution Designer Joey Otake to take a look, they discovered two hawks that had been nesting on the tower had recently hatched a chick.

When the hawks were first found in 2018, Joey was a lineworker. The team got used to seeing the hawks every day, and soon they started to feel like part of the team.

“We’ve named the newborn hawk ‘Bolt’ after the PEC lightning bolt,” Jason said.

Because this species is protected under the Migratory Bird Act, and seeing as the hawks have become an honorary part of the PEC family, the team concluded that there is no rush to take this tower down.

You all take great care in preserving the natural resources of the Texas Hill Country, and we thank you all for doing your best to ensure quality service while also being good stewards of the place we’ve called home for more than 85 years.

“We don’t want to mess with your animals or tear up your trees,” Jason said. “We’re naturalists too, and we want to leave the native landscape and wildlife intact and protect them as much as we can.”

They haven’t picked names for the mother and father hawks yet, but they are open to suggestions. And until the hawks move on, that tower will remain in place.

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