Red-tailed Hawks

Location: Ithaca, NY

Camera Host: Cornell Lab

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June 28, 2016

G1 Status Update—June 28

Yesterday afternoon, veterinarians at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center took radiographs of G1 and confirmed their suspicions that G1 has a fractured left shoulder. These fractures have the potential to heal on their own if the bird is given complete rest then allowed to very slowly exercise. Some birds have even been released after recovery. At this point, the doctors caring for G1 are not considering surgery. While it is still too early to determine if the bird will be releasable, every effort will be made to ensure the success of its time spent under the care of the Wildlife Health Center. If you have questions, please send them to birdcams@cornell.edu and we will be working together to answer them. We hope to be able to share another update on Friday, after G1 has been under observation for several days and been evaluated again—thanks for your patience. Click "More" to learn how you can help support the care of G1 by making a donation. More...

June 27, 2016

G1 Status Update—June 27

On Sunday June 26, 2016, one of the recently fledged Red-tailed Hawks from the Cornell Hawks nest (“G1”) was discovered unable to fly and was taken to the Cornell Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center (see earlier post for details). The veterinarians performed a complete examination at the center and allowed the bird to rest quietly for the rest of the evening.  Although they suspect an injury to the shoulder, they are awaiting further tests (including radiographs to be performed later today) to determine the extent of these injuries.  Since arriving Sunday afternoon, G1 appears to be doing well, and seems to be curious about its new environment. We hope to be able to update you later today or tomorrow morning after the radiographs have been taken and evaluated. If you have questions, please send them to birdcams@cornell.edu and we will be working together to answer them. All of the staff at the Wildlife Health Center would like to offer their heartfelt thanks to all of you who have expressed concerns for G1. Your support and kind thoughts are much appreciated! You can help support the Cornell Wildlife Health Center's care of G1—click "More" to donate.  More...

June 26, 2016

G1 Brought to Wildlife Health Center with Possible Wing Injury

Today we received news that G1 has been brought to the Janet. L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center with an apparent wing injury. Cindy and Karel Sedlacek alerted us that they found G1 this morning at about 9:00 a.m., perched on a window ledge at Mann Library about three feet off the ground. They observed G1 who appeared to be stunned, still walking but showing no signs of being able to fly. They also noticed a droop in the left wing. They called the wildlife health center around noon and spoke with a vet there. After watching for total of about five hours, they were advised to bring the hawk in for assessment. They brought G1 to the health center by about 2:00 p.m. At this time we have no further information but we will contact the health center tomorrow and will post updates here. We are not sure how G1 sustained this injury and will probably never know for sure. Last night, Ferris Akel was live streaming when a hawk flew toward a building and fell downward in a possible window strike. However, after just a moment, it was filmed flying and perching on a light post, so it is uncertain whether that event was related to G1 or its injury discovered today. That footage is available at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/88829620 in the last stream from 6/25 about 1:51:00 into the video. Karel and Cindy’s footage of G1 from this morning is at http://livestream.com/karelsedlacek/events/5686638 (scroll down to first clip on 6/26 at bottom of page), starting about 17:00 into the video. We thank Karel and Cindy for their help today and we thank all of you for your concern and patience while we wait to hear 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! 

June 09, 2016

G3 Fledges Just Before Dusk!

Dedicated Birders-on-the-Ground Karel and BOGette captured G3 taking off from the platform on its first flight just before dusk. The young hawk glided across Tower Road and landed on the greenhouse (which is being manually controlled) before finding cover for the night.  

June 08, 2016

G3 Practices Pouncing While Waiting to Fledge

Two hawks have successfully fledged from the Cornell Hawks nest, leaving one to ponder the skills necessary to follow along. In this clip, the remaining hawk nestling (G3) gets a little practice pouncing before walking out of view. 

June 28

G1 Status Update—June 28

Yesterday afternoon, veterinarians at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center took radiographs of G1 and confirmed their suspicions that G1 has a fractured left shoulder. These fractures have the potential to heal on their own if the bird is given complete rest then allowed to very slowly exercise. Some birds have even been released after recovery. At this point, the doctors caring for G1 are not considering surgery. While it is still too early to determine if the bird will be releasable, every effort will be made to ensure the success of its time spent under the care of the Wildlife Health Center. If you have questions, please send them to birdcams@cornell.edu and we will be working together to answer them. We hope to be able to share another update on Friday, after G1 has been under observation for several days and been evaluated again—thanks for your patience. Click "More" to learn how you can help support the care of G1 by making a donation. More...

June 27

G1 Status Update—June 27

On Sunday June 26, 2016, one of the recently fledged Red-tailed Hawks from the Cornell Hawks nest (“G1”) was discovered unable to fly and was taken to the Cornell Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center (see earlier post for details). The veterinarians performed a complete examination at the center and allowed the bird to rest quietly for the rest of the evening.  Although they suspect an injury to the shoulder, they are awaiting further tests (including radiographs to be performed later today) to determine the extent of these injuries.  Since arriving Sunday afternoon, G1 appears to be doing well, and seems to be curious about its new environment. We hope to be able to update you later today or tomorrow morning after the radiographs have been taken and evaluated. If you have questions, please send them to birdcams@cornell.edu and we will be working together to answer them. All of the staff at the Wildlife Health Center would like to offer their heartfelt thanks to all of you who have expressed concerns for G1. Your support and kind thoughts are much appreciated! You can help support the Cornell Wildlife Health Center's care of G1—click "More" to donate.  More...

June 26

G1 Brought to Wildlife Health Center with Possible Wing Injury

Today we received news that G1 has been brought to the Janet. L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center with an apparent wing injury. Cindy and Karel Sedlacek alerted us that they found G1 this morning at about 9:00 a.m., perched on a window ledge at Mann Library about three feet off the ground. They observed G1 who appeared to be stunned, still walking but showing no signs of being able to fly. They also noticed a droop in the left wing. They called the wildlife health center around noon and spoke with a vet there. After watching for total of about five hours, they were advised to bring the hawk in for assessment. They brought G1 to the health center by about 2:00 p.m. At this time we have no further information but we will contact the health center tomorrow and will post updates here. We are not sure how G1 sustained this injury and will probably never know for sure. Last night, Ferris Akel was live streaming when a hawk flew toward a building and fell downward in a possible window strike. However, after just a moment, it was filmed flying and perching on a light post, so it is uncertain whether that event was related to G1 or its injury discovered today. That footage is available at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/88829620 in the last stream from 6/25 about 1:51:00 into the video. Karel and Cindy’s footage of G1 from this morning is at http://livestream.com/karelsedlacek/events/5686638 (scroll down to first clip on 6/26 at bottom of page), starting about 17:00 into the video. We thank Karel and Cindy for their help today and we thank all of you for your concern and patience while we wait to hear more. 

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.