Red-tailed Hawks

Location: Ithaca, NY

Camera Host: Cornell Lab

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September 06, 2016

G2 Sighted and Looking Healthy

G2, one of the Red-tailed Hawk juveniles from this year's breeding season, was seen this weekend looking strong and healthy! She was also spotting catching a fresh dinner. Thanks to our birders-on-the-ground Cindy and Karel Sedlacek for the welcomed update and photo. 

August 19, 2016

G1 Doing Well Near Release Location

Good news! Yesterday, August 18, Cindy and Karel Sedlacek visited the area near where G1 was released last week. They were able to find and observe G1 in the evening and again this morning. They are happy to share that G1 looked well, perching in trees and on a pole, and flying to a swampy area without any signs of her previous injury. They observed her making a hunting attempt to the ground, and although she did not come up with anything that time, they believe based on her appearance that she is finding food. They noted at one point that she was doing crop maintenance, making motions that often precede the expelling of fur, indicating she may have had something in her crop. They also noted that she did not cry for for food during the time that they watched her. We are happy to hear that she was flying well and still in the area one full week after being released there. We thank Karel and Cindy for their ongoing efforts and dedication to check on G1 and for sharing their observations with the Lab and the cam community. Best wishes to all for a peaceful and happy weekend. 

August 16, 2016

G1 Returns to the Wild

In late June, a fledgling Red-tailed Hawk named "G1" from the Cornell Hawks cam was found on campus with an injured shoulder, unable to fly. After a week of intensive care at Cornell's Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center, she was transferred to a local rehabber for rest, healing, and a chance to regain her strength. After 6 weeks with the rehabber, she was flying strongly and catching live prey on her own while in captivity, and was evaluated to be ready to return to the wild. A private location with great habitat and no nearby hawk nests was selected for the release, to give the young bird the time and space to hone her survival skills. Upon release, her flight looked strong and even, and she flew directly to a large maple about 250 meters away from the release site. We'd like to give special thanks to everyone who was involved in G1's care, as well as the birders-on-the-ground who discovered G1's injury and the viewers out there who have shared in the Cornell Hawks experience. Thanks for watching, and good luck to G1! 

August 16, 2016

G1 Returns to the Wild

In late June, a fledgling Red-tailed Hawk named "G1" from the Cornell Hawks cam was found on campus with an injured shoulder, unable to fly. After a week of intensive care at Cornell's Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center, she was transferred to a local rehabber for rest, healing, and a chance to regain her strength. After 6 weeks with the rehabber, she was flying strongly and catching live prey on her own while in captivity, and was evaluated to be ready to return to the wild. A private location with great habitat and no nearby hawk nests was selected for the release, to give the young bird the time and space to hone her survival skills. Upon release, her flight looked strong and even, and she flew directly to a large maple about 250 meters away from the release site. We'd like to give special thanks to everyone who was involved in G1's care, as well as the birders-on-the-ground who discovered G1's injury and the viewers out there who have shared in the Cornell Hawks experience. Thanks for watching, and good luck to G1! 

July 01, 2016

G1 Status Update—July 1

G1's stay at Cornell's Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center is going as well as could be expected. Test results and evaluations continue to be good, and G1 is eating heartily while getting a lot of rest. We plan to hear from the staff of the Wildlife Health Center with an update on G1's status after the holiday weekend. Thanks for everyone's good thoughts and support! More...

June 20, 2016

All Three Fledglings in the Nest, Fighting Over Prey

Ezra delivers a chipmunk to the nest site, which is subsequently fought over by the three fledglings. Thanks to videographer Denise for capturing and sharing the video! 

September 06

G2 Sighted and Looking Healthy

G2, one of the Red-tailed Hawk juveniles from this year's breeding season, was seen this weekend looking strong and healthy! She was also spotting catching a fresh dinner. Thanks to our birders-on-the-ground Cindy and Karel Sedlacek for the welcomed update and photo. 

August 19

G1 Doing Well Near Release Location

Good news! Yesterday, August 18, Cindy and Karel Sedlacek visited the area near where G1 was released last week. They were able to find and observe G1 in the evening and again this morning. They are happy to share that G1 looked well, perching in trees and on a pole, and flying to a swampy area without any signs of her previous injury. They observed her making a hunting attempt to the ground, and although she did not come up with anything that time, they believe based on her appearance that she is finding food. They noted at one point that she was doing crop maintenance, making motions that often precede the expelling of fur, indicating she may have had something in her crop. They also noted that she did not cry for for food during the time that they watched her. We are happy to hear that she was flying well and still in the area one full week after being released there. We thank Karel and Cindy for their ongoing efforts and dedication to check on G1 and for sharing their observations with the Lab and the cam community. Best wishes to all for a peaceful and happy weekend. 

August 01

G1 Status Update—August 1

The news regarding G1 continues to be good. G1 was given a larger cage to start exercising her wings at her own pace. This is the first step toward beginning to fly again, and as G1 gets stronger, the wildlife rehabilitator will continue to monitor G1 to see whether even larger spaces are needed to allow for increased wing exercise. As long as G1's prognosis remains good, we don't expect to hear anything more for a few weeks. Thanks for everyone's thoughts for G1 as she recovers from her injury. 

Red-tailed Hawk

Tree

Nest Placement

Red-tailed Hawks typically put their nests in the crowns of tall trees where they have a commanding view of the landscape. They may also nest on a cliff ledge or on artificial structures such as window ledges and billboard platforms.

Nest Description

Both members build the nest, or simply refurbish one of the nests they’ve used in previous years. Nests are tall piles of dry sticks up to 6.5 feet high and 3 feet across. The inner cup is lined with bark strips, fresh foliage, and dry vegetation. Construction takes 4-7 days.

Clutch Size

1-5 eggs

Incubation Period

28-35 days

Nestling Period

42-46 days

Egg Description

White or buffy, blotched or speckled with buff, brown, or purple.

Condition at Hatching

Tiny and helpless, unable to raise head, and weighing about 2 ounces.

Small Animals

Food

Mammals make up the bulk of most Red-tailed Hawk meals. Frequent victims include voles, mice, wood rats, rabbits, snowshoe hares, jackrabbits, and ground squirrels. The hawks also eat birds, including pheasants, bobwhite, starlings, and blackbirds; as well as snakes and carrion. Individual prey items can weigh anywhere from less than an ounce to more than 5 pounds.

Typical Voice

Adults make a hoarse, screaming kee-eeeee-arr. It lasts 2-3 seconds and is usually given while soaring. During courtship, they also make a shrill chwirk, sometimes giving several of these calls in a row.more sounds

See full Species Info at All About Birds

About the Nest

A Red-tailed Hawk pair has been nesting above Cornell University’s athletic fields for at least the past five years. In 2012, 2013 and again in 2014, we installed cameras to get a better look at these majestic birds as they raise their young amid the bustle of a busy campus. So far, we’ve seen the birds bringing prey such as voles, squirrels, and pigeons to the nest.

Big Red and Her Mate

BigRed-ThreeEggs-600x350The female, nicknamed “Big Red” in honor of her alma mater, is slightly larger, with a darker head, nape and throat, and is banded on her right leg. From banding records we know she was banded in nearby Brooktondale, New York, during her first autumn in 2003, making her nearly thirteen years old.

 

20130315-EzraOnNest

The male, named Ezra after the co-founder of Cornell University, is banded on his left leg. He’s a bit smaller and has golden-tawny feathers on his face and head, and a paler neck than the female. He is at least 11 years old and was first banded in 2006 as an adult bird on Judd Falls Road near the Cornell campus.