The final timber frame for the 2017 season has been cut. Due to timing of the project’s production and the onset of an early Winter, the Caroline, New York raising has been postponed until Summer 2018. And thus the 18’x30′ king post frame will winter, stacked under tin, at TimberHomes’ Vershire shop.
Though not up yet, the “Hawk Mews” project is exciting because its intended use is quite unique. While TimberHomes cuts a number house and barn frames, this is its first timber frame for the expressed purpose of housing birds of prey.
The client, Rolfe Radcliffe, a veterinarian at Cornell University, is also a licensed falconer and raptor rehabilitator. For his falconry pursuits, he intends, from the structure, to “fly Red-tailed hawks, Red-shouldered hawks, Gyrfalcons and maybe one day the Golden eagle”. In the capacity of a rehabilitation center, Radcliffe will use the space to nurse back to health injured birds from the area. In addition to the falconry species listed above, the expected inhabitants will likely include: Screech owls, Barred owls, Short-eared owls, Great-horned owls, Saw-whet owls, Coopers hawks, and Bald eagles, Sadly, it seems that contact with humans is the most common reason why raptors end up in such a place.
While the Hawk Mews’ primary purpose is for raptors, it will be, in actuality, a multi-use structure. In the open shed area at the ground level, there will be enough space for a 1963 Nuttfield tractor, still being used for field work in warmer months and for snow removal in the Winter. In addition, Radcliffe intends to also house his antique “Express” wagon from 1897. And last but not least, the other end of the barn will be for “Ellie”, a Suffolk-Punch draft horse.