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Red-tailed Hawks Begin 2024 Breeding Season Above Cornell’s Campus

Learn about the Cornell Hawks as they begin to raise the next generation.

Watch Big Red reveal her second egg of the season on March 20.

The Red-tailed Hawks are back for their 12th breeding season on the Cornell Hawks Cam! The official start to the nesting season came on March 17, when Big Red hunkered down and laid her first brown-speckled egg at the Fernow nest site located above Cornell University’s main campus in Ithaca, New York. A second egg arrived on March 20, and at least one more egg is likely to join the nest in the next 48 hours. Watch Big Red and Arthur attempt to raise the next generation of Red-tailed Hawks live on the Cornell Hawks Cam.

Incubation Activities: Once their clutch is complete, the hawks will spend the next month incubating their eggs until they are expected to hatch in mid-April (see the Red-tailed Hawk Cam Timeline for nesting cycle dates & information). Although Big Red will spend most of the time at the nest, her mate will assist in incubation duties when she needs a break. Arthur will fill the role of provider, of both food and nesting material, throughout the incubation period. We’ll see him swoop in often to gift meals to Big Red and refresh the nest with sticks, bark, and greenery.

The “N” Year: When the Cornell Hawks Cam launched in 2012, fans named the chicks C1, C2, and C3 (“C” after Cornell). This alphanumeric naming convention stuck, and successive broods were named after the next letter of the alphabet each year. Twelve seasons later, we’ve reached the “N” chicks. Assuming all goes well in the nest, the first chick to hatch in April will be named “N1,” the second chick “N2,” and so on. It’s a testament to Big Red’s longevity and breeding success that we’ve journeyed this far down the alphabet!

Be sure to follow updates from the nest on Twitter/X throughout the breeding season @CornellHawks.

Bird Cams is a free resource

providing a virtual window into the natural world
of birds and funded by donors like you

Pileated Woodpecker by Lin McGrew / Macaulay Library