Red-tailed Hawk Cam Timeline
July 16, 2021
Review the main events, including nesting cycle milestones and other noteworthy incidents, in this historical timeline of the Red-tailed Hawk cam.
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Nesting Cycle Dates & Information
|Nest||Year||Egg #||Lay Date||Hatch Date||Fledge Date||Chick Name|
|Fernow||2021||1||March 26||May 2||June 22||K1|
|2||March 29||May 3||Deceased||K2|
|3||April 1||May 5||June 23||K3|
|Fernow||2020||1||March 18||April 25||June 14||J1|
|2||March 21||April 25||June 12||J2|
|3||March 24||April 29||June 14||J3|
|Fernow||2019||1||March 23||April 29||June 17||I1|
|2||March 26||April 30||June 11||I2|
|3||March 29||May 2||June 17||I3|
|Fenow||2018||1||March 16||April 23||June 10||H1|
|2||March 19||April 23||June 8||H2|
|3||March 22||April 26||June 10||H3|
|Weill||2016||1||March 13||April 20||June 7||G1|
|2||March 16||April 21||June 5||G2|
|3||March 19||April 23||June 9||G3|
|Fernow||2015||1||March 28||May 4||June 21||F1|
|2||March 31||May 5||June 22||F2|
|3||April 3||May 7||June 22||F3|
|Weill||2014||1||March 19||April 27||June 14||E1|
|2||March 22||April 27||June 6||E2|
|3||March 25||April 29||June 14||E3|
|Weill||2013||1||March 14||April 22||June 4||D1|
|2||March 17||April 22||June 5||D2|
|3||March 20||April 24||June 12||D3|
|Fernow||2012||1||March 16||April 23||June 6||C1|
|2||March 20||April 24||June 7||C2|
|3||March 22||April 26||June 13||C3|
2021 Season Timeline
June 23, 2021: Red-tailed Hawk Chick K3 Fledges, Nesting Season Ends For Cornell Hawks
The youngest Red-tailed Hawk chick K3 has fledged, and the Cornell Hawks nest is empty. Watch the young hawk make one last prance across the nesting platform before taking off over Cornell University’s campus. The chick is likely aiming to land in the trees across the street, but it overshoots them and flutters down to the ground after making contact with Bradfield Hall. Young hawks can be clumsy fliers out of the gate, and birders on the ground report that K3 made a quick recovery after its miscalculated flight.
June 22, 2021: Sad News, Red-Tailed Hawk Chick K2 Has Died
We have sad news to share about K2, the injured nestling from the Cornell Hawks nest that was transported to the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital on June 22. There, K2 received emergency care and advanced diagnostics to assess the nature and extent of injuries and determine treatment. Unfortunately, X-rays and other testing revealed severe and irrecoverable injuries that would have prevented K2’s survival in the wild or quality of life in captivity. Because of this, and the chronic pain associated with this condition, the wildlife veterinarians made the difficult but compassionate decision to euthanize K2. Read this article for more information on K2.
June 22, 2021: Red-tailed Hawk Chick K1 Fledges From Cornell Hawks Nest
At 51 days post-hatch, Red-tailed Hawk nestling K1 is the first chick to fledge in 2021. Watch the young hawk find its preferred take-off point before embarking on a straight-line flight across Tower Road and into the trees next to Cornell campus’s Rice Hall. Great job K1!
May 5, 2021: Third And Final Chick “K3” Hatches, Receives First Bites At Cornell Hawks Nest
Big Red and Arthur’s clutch is complete! K3 was first seen working its way out of the shell on the evening of May 5 at 6:58 P.M. after 34 days of incubation. The next morning, K3 joined its nest mates during feeding time and finally got its first morsel from Big Red.
May 3, 2021: Second Red-tailed Hawk Chick “K2” Hatches, Revealed During Feeding
The Cornell Hawks’ second hatchling, named “K2,” was first spotted out of the egg for the first time at 11:47 on May 3. Here’s K2’s reveal on the morning after hatch. One egg remains.
May 2, 2021: Red-tailed Hawk Chick “K1” Hatches
The first Red-tailed Hawk hatchling has arrived in 2021. The first chick, named K1, started breaking out of its eggshell (or “pipping”) over the weekend before finally hatching at 10:50 PM on May 2. Watch one of its first feedings on the morning after hatch when Big Red lifts up to offer bits of pigeon to her bobble-headed chick.
April 1, 2021: Big Red Reveals Her Third Egg On Snowy Morning In Ithaca, New York
Watch the reveal of Big Red’s third egg at 10:53 AM on April 1 when she takes an incubation break. The Red-tailed Hawks’ clutch is now likely complete given that Big Red has laid 3 eggs in each of her breeding attempts since the cam went live in 2012. Up next is the arduous task of incubation. During this period, Big Red will spend most of her time keeping the eggs warm at the nest. Her mate Arthur will be tasked with finding food for both adults, as well as taking over incubation duties when Big Red needs a break. The first chick is expected to hatch around May 2.
March 29, 2021: Second Egg Laid By Big Red At Cornell Hawks Nest
Watch Big Red lay her second egg of the 2021 breeding season at 10:09 AM on Monday, March 29. This egg comes three days after the first egg was laid on March 26. Big Red typically lays three eggs per clutch, and we expect to see the third egg arrive sometime in the next 48–72 hours.
March 26, 2021: Big Red Kicks Of Red-tailed Hawk Cam Season By Laying First Egg
After spending some time on the nest in the morning, Big Red returned midday to hunker down and lay her first egg of the 2021 breeding season at 12:51 PM ET. She chose a windy day to do it, with wind speeds reaching over 40 mph in the Ithaca, New York. Watch highlights of Big Red as she lays the egg, protects it from the wind, and rolls the egg in the nest bowl. March 26 marks the second latest date (behind March 28 in 2015) that Big Red has laid her first egg since the Cornell Hawks cam was installed in 2012. Red-tailed Hawks tend to lay eggs every other day, but Big Red typically lays an egg every three days until the clutch is complete.
2020 Season Timeline
June 14, 2020: Final Nestling “J1” Fledges From Cornell Hawks Nest
Just a few hours after its sibling fledged, the last Red-tailed Hawk nestling “J1” took flight at 10:34 AM on June 14, 2020. All three hawk nestlings have fledged the nest, and while they may return and visit the nest over the coming days, they soon will head farther afield. The parents will continue to watch over them and feed them for the next month or two as they become more independent.
June 14, 2020: “J3” Fledges As Siblings look On
Watch the second Red-tailed Hawk nestling take its first flight. While the first-fledged nestling (“J2”) sits and preens in front of the camera, J3 hops in the background and takes its first flight across Tower Road on Cornell’s campus at 8:46 AM.
June 12, 2020: Hawk Nestling “J2” Fledges
The first Red-tailed Hawk nestling has taken flight. Watch 48-day-old J2 perch atop one of the stadium light fixtures attached to the nestling platform. Everything is going swell until the chick loses its balance and slides down the light and transitions into its first flight! Birders on the ground report that the chick safely made it to the trees across the street from the nest.
April 29, 2020: Third Red-tailed Hawk Chick “J3” Hatches
After spending a couple of days working its way out of the shell, the third and final Red-tailed Hawk chick “J3” has finally hatched after 36 days in the egg. The first signs of hatching were observed on April 29 at 3:24 A.M., when half of the chick’s empty eggshell was spotted in the nest cup. This marks the end of the incubation period for the Red-tailed Hawks.
April 25, 2020: First Two Chicks Hatch In Cornell Hawks Nest
“J1” and “J2” have hatched at the Cornell Hawks nest. The second Red-tailed Hawk chick hatched in the late night hours of April 25, following the hatch of its sibling that morning. Take a look at the chicks in the nest on the morning after hatch.
March 24, 2020: Big Red Lays Egg #3
Egg #3 is here. Big Red hunkered down over her nest bowl at 1:23 PM on March 24 and laid the hawk’s third egg of the 2020 breeding season. Based on the hawks nesting history, it is likely that the egg-laying period is now over for the hawks. Big Red has laid 3 eggs each breeding season since 2012, when the cam first launched. Good luck to Big Red and Arthur as they settle in for another 4–5 weeks of incubation.
March 21, 2020: A Second Egg Arrives Right On Time at the Cornell Hawks Nest
Big Red (the female Red-tailed Hawk at the Cornell Hawks nest) keeps to her egg-laying schedule, laying a second egg at nearly the same interval after the first egg as she has kept to for all of her seasons on cam. If past seasons continue to be our guide, we can expect a potential third egg about 2.5-3 days from now.
March 18, 2020: Big Red Lays First Egg of 2020 Cornell Red-tailed Hawks Season!
Get the first good look at Big Red and Arthur’s first egg on the morning after it was laid. Red-tailed Hawk eggs are a beautiful white color, sometimes with a faint buffy wash. Eggs may be sparsely or heavily marked with blotches and speckles of buff, pale reddish-brown, dark brown, or purple.
2019 Season Timeline
June 17, 2019: Red-tailed Hawk Chicks “I1” And “I3” Fledge Successfully
It’s official—Big Red and Arthur have done it again. All three Red-tailed Hawk chicks have successfully fledged the nest, capping a second successful year for Cornell University’s resident Red-tailed Hawk breeding pair. We’re wishing the best of luck to our feathered fledgling trio! I2 was the first chick to take to the skies at 42 days post-hatch, making a confident flight from the nesting platform to a nearby tree on June 11. I1 and I3 followed this morning with flights of their own. Watch I3’s fledge caught on local birders-on-the-ground (BOGs) Karel and Cindy Sedlacek’s livestream.
June 11, 2019: Red-tailed Hawk Chick “I2” Fledges
Red-tailed Hawk chick “I2” took wing from the “fledge ledge” of the nesting platform on June 11 at around 7:30 P.M. The fledge was not captured on cam, but local birders-on-the-ground report that I2 landed safely in a tree in front of Cornell University’s Fernow Hall. Check out this clip of I2 perched in a three across the street from the nest on the morning of June 12. Good luck I2!
May 2, 2019: Third And Final Red-tailed Hawk Chick “I3” Hatches
All three Red-tailed Hawk chicks have hatched! Get an amazing look at the third chick “I3” just hours after hatching from the shell.
April 30, 2019: Second Red-tailed Hawk Chick “I2” Hatches Overnight
The second Red-tailed Hawk chick “I2” hatched just before midnight on April 30. Watch this amazing up-close view of the two chicks during a late-morning feeding on May 1 from the Cornell Hawks cam. Two chicks hatched, one to go!
April 29, 2019: First Red-Tailed Hawk Chick “I1” Hatches
Relive the moment when the first Red-tailed Hawk chick hatches from its shell at around 5:20 p.m. under the watch of the female, Big Red. This marks one of the BEST EVER hatchings that we’ve experienced on the Cornell Hawks cam.
March 29, 2019: Big Red Lays Egg #3 In Cornell Hawks Nest
Watch Big Red lay her third egg of 2019! Watch the entire egg-laying process in which Big Red hunkers down, lays the egg, and finally rises to check on it. The eggs in this clutch were all laid three days apart on March 23, 26, and 29. Big Red has laid three eggs in each nesting season since the Red-tailed Hawk cam started broadcasting in 2012.
March 26, 2019: Big Red Lays Egg #2
And then there were two! Big Red hunkered down and laid another egg in the Red-tailed Hawk nest this afternoon. Get a glimpse at both eggs as she rises off the nest to reposition them during an incubation break. If Big Red’s history is any indicator, a third egg will put the finishing touches on the egg-laying period in the next 48–72 hours.
March 23, 2019: Red-tailed Hawk Breeding Season Begins As Big Red Lays First Egg
Our favorite pair of Red-tailed Hawks is at it again. Amidst feverish anticipation, Big Red and Arthur officially kicked off another breeding season on Saturday, March 23, as BR laid an egg in their nest overlooking Cornell University’s bustling campus. Watch this clip to see BR unveil the egg shortly after 5 PM. Arthur arrives soon after to check up on his mate. Good luck this season Arthur and BR!
2018 Season Timeline
Dec 19, 2018: 2018 Red-tailed Hawk Cam Season Highlights
2018 marked a triumphant return for the Red-tailed Hawk cam. Relive the top moments of Big Red and Arthur’s first breeding season together as they teamed up to raise three healthy chicks in their nest high above Cornell University’s campus.
July 18, 2018: “H3” Released And Doing Strong
We are happy to report that the young hawk that was brought to the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center on Friday, July 13, has been confirmed as H3 and was released successfully this afternoon near the Cornell Botanic Gardens! Victoria Campbell, the wildlife rehabilitator who conducted the release, said H3 was very high-energy and flew wonderfully during the release. Thanks to all of our local BOGs (birders on the ground) who monitored and provided updates about H3, the person who admitted H3 for treatment after the hawk sustained a minor injury from a window strike, and the veterinarians and staff at the Wildlife Health Center for providing wonderful treatment to the young hawk. Video credit: Karel and Cindy Sedlacek.
July 13, 2018: “H3” Admitted To Wildlife Health Center With Injury
Thanks to our BOGS (birders on the ground), we learned that H3 had not been spotted since last Friday, July 13. After checking in with the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center, we learned that they had received a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk on Friday evening with a minor injury from a window collision at the Cornell Dairy Bar. The good news is that after initial treatment, the veterinarians report that the young hawk has made a “rapid and full recovery” and was lucky to not have sustained any serious injuries, clearing it for release without further rehabilitation. Due to inclement weather conditions on Tuesday, H3’s release is planned for Wednesday, July 18. To maintain full focus on a successful release with minimal people present, Cornell Lab staffer and licensed wildlife rehabilitator Victoria Campbell will release the hawk at an optimal location that minimizes proximity to human hazards.
June 10, 2018: Red-tailed Hawk Chick “H1” Fledges From Cornell Hawks Nest
At 11:26 AM on June 10, H1 perches on the railing of the nest platform and takes wing for the first time as a fledgling! Local birders-on-the-ground (BOGs) Karel and Bogette report that H1 landed safely in a tree below the nesting platform. After the chick’s first flight, its recently fledged sibling “H2” follows suit and departs from the platform in quick fashion (H2 has returned to the nest multiple times since fledging on June 8).
June 10, 2018: “H3” Fledges From Cornell Hawks Nest
Not to be outdone by its siblings, Red-tailed Hawk chick “H3” fledges just hours after its eldest nest mate. Watch the young chick take the plunge from the fledge ledge at 45 days post-hatch in this clip from the Cornell Hawk cam! Reports from BOGs say that H3 landed safely on the ground.
June 8, 2018: “H2” Accidentally Fledges, First Chick To Leave The Nest
Watch H2 fledge accidentally while preening on the fledge ledge. First reports from BOGs Karel and Bogette are that the hawk landed safely and made its way into a nearby tree.
April 26, 2018: Egg #3 Hatches, Three Chicks In Cornell Hawks Nest
After over 24 hours of pipping and 35 days of incubation, H3 hatched from its egg! Get a quick look at Big Red and Arthur’s third and final chick when BR steps back to feed her nestlings in this quick highlight. Now that all three chicks have hatched, Big Red and Arthur are challenged with finding enough food to turn these hungry hatchlings into fledglings over the next 45–50 days.
April 23, 2018: Egg #1 Hatches, Big Red Reveals Two Chicks In The Nest
Big Red rises from the nest and allows viewers the first sneak peek at her two hatchlings on the Red-tailed Hawk cam. The second chick, H2, hatched from the pair’s first egg (laid on March 16) after 38 days of incubation!
April 23, 2018: Egg #2 Hatches, Cornell Hawks Have Their First Chick
The hawk’s first chick had officially emerged from its shell! Watch fluffy-headed hatchling clumsily wriggle around the nest bowl underneath BR’s watchful eye. Interestingly, this chick is from egg #2, meaning it hatched prior to the hawks’ first egg (which is also well on its way to hatching). Welcome to the world H1!
March 22, 2018: Three Eggs for Big Red and Arthur
On the evening of March 22, Big Red stood up and revealed a third egg! Each year that she has nested on cam, she has laid three eggs, and this year is shaping up to match past years’ efforts.
March 19, 2018: Big Red Lays Second Egg On Red-tailed Hawk Cam
Egg #2 is here! Watch The brown-speckled egg was unveiled to the world just minutes after BR hunkered down in the nest to lay at around 1:40 P.M. nest time. If Big Red continues her trend of laying three-egg clutches, we should expect another egg sometime in the next 2.5–3 days.
March 16, 2018: First Egg Laid On Cornell Hawks Cam
Minutes after 1:00 PM EST on March 16, Big Red arrived to the Fernow nest to lay the first egg of the 2018 breeding season! This marks the first time since 2016 that the hawks will attempt a breeding season after Big Red’s long-time mate, Ezra, died in March 2017 before any eggs were laid. Big Red has since partnered with a new male, Arthur. This new pair will attempt to raise their first clutch of eggs together this spring on the Red-tailed Hawk cam.
March 9, 2018: Cam Community Votes “Arthur” As Name For Big Red’s New Mate
Ever since Big Red began spending time with a new male following Ezra’s death, we hoped that the pair would stick together and provide us all with new opportunities to learn about the amazing world of Red-tailed Hawks. Back in 2012, the cam community chose Ezra’s name in a vote, so we continued the tradition to name this new male—and the response was incredible. In just over a week, more than 2,700 votes were cast to choose among 5 potential names for Big Red’s new mate. “Arthur” received the greatest number of votes, with nearly 35% (954 votes) being cast in favor of honoring the founder of the Cornell Lab.
2017 Season Timeline
May 4, 2017: Big Red Spending Time With Young Male Hawk
Local BOGs report that BR has been spending extended periods with the new juvenile hawk that was recently spotted in her territory. Over the past week, the two birds have been seen soaring together, spending time in the trees, and moving to new locations with one another. According to BOGs Karel and Bogette, and Suzanne Horning, the pair has also been observed delivering sticks to multiple light towers near the athletic fields—including both the Fernow and Weill nest locations. While these two seem getting along, or at least tolerating one another, the window for breeding this year has likely come and passed; however, it’s promising to know that BR is spending time with another male and actively adding to potential nest locations.
March 21, 2017: Ezra The Red-tailed Hawk Has Died
Worries had been mounting about Big Red’s mate Ezra as he has not been sighted for the past several days on campus. We are extremely sad to have to share the news with you that we learned this evening that Ezra has died. Please visit this article to read the full story and share your thoughts and memories of Ezra in pictures or words in the enhanced commenting section.
2016 Season Timeline
August 16, 2016: “G1” Returned To The Wild After Rehabilitation
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.
July 4, 2016: Sad News About Hawk Believed to Be “G3”
We are sad to share news about the hawk that was brought to the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center yesterday. The hawk had been found on its belly, unable to walk, and at the Wildlife Health Center veterinarians noted the bird’s paralysis. Evaluation of radiographs indicated a catastrophic break to the spine, explaining the paralysis they had observed. Because this hawk would have no hope of surviving in the wild or having quality life in captivity, the veterinarians made the decision to euthanize the hawk today. This hawk is believed to be G3 based on its location when found, and observations of birders on the ground who noted that G2 was still in the area. They also noted the outline of a bird on the glass of the bus shelter near where the hawk was found, evidence that a collision with the shelter was the likely cause of injury. This is a sad reminder of how hazardous and deadly glass can be to birds when they are unable to distinguish the reflections in glass from the surrounding habitat. Each year in the United States alone, 599 million birds are estimated to be killed in collisions with windows. For latest information about preventing window strikes, please visit the American Bird Conservancy’s website. Thank you to the veterinarians and staff at the Swanson Wildlife Health Center for their dedication, expertise, and care for the hawks as well as other wild animals in need of help. We also thank the cam community for your outpouring of concern and support for the Cornell hawks.
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. BOGs Cindy and Karel Sedlacek alerted us that they found G1 on June 26 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.
June 9, 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 7, 2016: Second Hawk Nestling “G1” Fledges
G1 took its first flight early this morning and was found perched across Tower Rd in the same oak tree that G2 fledged into. Special thanks to Birders-On-the-Ground Karel and BOGette Sedlacek for the image.
June 5, 2016: First Hawk Nestling “G2” Fledges
The Cornell Hawks have begun fledging! Yesterday G2 took its flight from the nest’s “fledge ledge”, which is out of view of the fixed view. Thankfully, Birders-On-the-Ground Karel and BOGette were there to capture G2’s first flight—a masterful one by all accounts—and subsequent landing in an oak across the street!
April 23, 2016: “G3” Hatches In Cornell Hawks Nest
Chick 3 of Cornell Hawks generation “G” hatched around 7:37 AM on April 23. Watch this clip of all three chicks having a meal together from April 28.
April 20–21: Nestlings “G1” and “G2” Hatch Within 24 Hours
Squirmy chicks G1 and G2 get some preening attention from mom Big Red on their first day out of their eggs. G1 hatched around 6:30 PM on April 20, and G2 hatched fully out of its egg around 8:30 AM on April 21!
March 19, 2016: Big Red Lays Third Egg
This morning a third egg was laid at the Cornell Hawks nest – the fifth time in five years we’ve had a 3 egg clutch! We expect Big Red and Ezra to start incubation in earnest now, and in around 5 weeks the next generation of hawks (nicknamed the “G’s”) will emerge.
March 16, 2016: A Second Egg for the Cornell Hawks
Big Red and Ezra switch incubation duties, giving us a look at both in the nest today! Thanks to the sharp-eyed Cornell Hawks Cam volunteers for catching a glimpse of the second egg, all but hidden behind sticks.
March 13, 2016: Breeding Season Begins With First Egg
Big Red laid her first egg of the 2016 season on the afternoon of March 13. Each year since 2012 she’s laid three eggs, and she and her mate Ezra have successfully raised each brood to fledging in June.
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