Bird’s-eye view
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Bird’s-eye view

March 13, 2024

By Ryan LaFontaine

IRVING— If you ask TxDOT employees in Dallas, they’ll say the egg definitely did not come first.

In fact, it wasn’t even a chicken. It was a hawk.

For the past 10 years, a red-tailed hawk named Rochelle has built a nest under a TxDOT camera on SH 114 and Rochelle Boulevard in Irving.

“We love them. They’re fun to watch, especially when the eggs hatch and we can watch the chicks grow and feed,” said Craig Burgan, a TxDOT traffic systems administrator in Dallas. “The local media has taken a keen interest and has featured them in several broadcasts.”

Rochelle—named for the boulevard she’s called home for a decade—is the star of the show, mending the nest and tending to her chicks when they hatch.

Her mate, who hasn’t yet been named, usually pitches in—when he’s not out doing hawk things. But make no mistake, it’s Rochelle who does most of the heavy lifting required to build her nest atop a 150-foot-tall camera pole.

“There’s a cabinet on top of the high mast ring and they nest on top of the cabinet,” Burgan said.

This year, Rochelle had two eggs in the nest. Employees who monitor the TxDOT traffic cameras were growing hopeful they would soon see two chicks.

However, high winds claimed both eggs and Rochelle hasn’t returned to the nest. But TxDOT employees are comforted knowing that, if all goes well, Rochelle will be back again next year to give it another try.