Hawk chicks moved from nests near Sea-Tac Airport

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SEATAC, Wash. (AP) -- If you're a red-tailed hawk chick hatched in a nest near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, chances are you're going to be sent away to school.

For more than a decade, Bud Anderson of the Falcon Research Group has overseen the removal of young hawks from nests high in cottonwood trees surrounding the airport. That's because the young, inexperienced birds are very vulnerable to aircraft when they start to fly. Most often the bird loses when planes hit birds, but large birds have broken cockpit windows and clogged engines.

Anderson tells KING-TV (http://is.gd/YZyzfu ) there are at least two nesting pairs of adult hawks that stay out of trouble. KING reports that the airport likes the adult hawks because they can help drive out other bird species.

The chicks are taken to a farm in Skagit County, where they learn to fly and hunt. Five were removed from two nests on Tuesday.

Anderson says none of the removed chicks has returned to Sea-Tac.

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Information from: KING-TV, http://www.king5.com/