PORTLAND Ore., -- Just after four o'clock on Friday afternoon, a red tailed hawk pecked and pulled at a white plastic grocery bag in its nest.
It's one of the best known nests in the West, since it has a 24-hour web camera pointed at it as it rests several stories up on the side of a Portland office building.
Its a fan favorite, the KGW Raptor Cam.
The Audubon Society's bird expert, Bob Sallinger is well aware of the bag.
He is not going to move it.
If you watch Raptor Cam for any amount of time you see she's moving it around, re-arranging it. In fact there's a ton of garbage in that nest, said Sallinger. When you get up close, you find out there's' all kinds of stuff in there, he said.
But a plastic bag? Won't it smother the chicks when they hatch? Won't it collect water and keep them wet and cold.?
Sallinger says, probably not.
She's got to continue to rearrange her nest to keep her eggs safe, said Sallinger. If she sees water accumulating underneath them for example she's gonna make changes, he said.
This is, after all, an urban family. So perhaps it should not surprise us to find a grocery bag in a hawk's nest.
PHOTOS: Hawks use plastic bag in nest
Sallinger says the hawk parents brought it into the nest. A state lawmaker who wants to ban the plastic bags says its time to get them out.
We have one camera on one bird nest and a bag shows up in there, said Oregon State Senator Mark Haas. So, do you think this is happening in other bird nests, in other fish ponds and on the beach. Yes it is, Haas said.
Haas tried but failed to ban the bags during the last special session of the Oregon legislature. He promises to try again in 2011.
Takes a thousand years for a plastic bag to decompose, said Haas. And I just think we can do better than that in Oregon. This is a state that should be leading the way, Haas said.
In the meantime, the red-tailed hawk family seems content with their urban furniture. One of the hawk parents sat on the plastic bag, and theeggs, all afternoon.