Bird Cams Hawk Family Immortalized in Sculpture

By Pat Leonard
December 21, 2021
A life-size sculpture of the Bird Cams Red-tailed Hawks by David Cohen. Photo by Charles Eldermire.A life-size sculpture of the Bird Cams Red-tailed Hawks by David Cohen. Photo by Charles Eldermire.

From the Winter 2022 issue of Living Bird magazine. Subscribe now.

Hawks are now nesting in the atrium of Corson-Mudd Hall on the Cornell University campus.

The sculpture of a Red-tailed Hawk family is the work of artist David Cohen from Cape Cod, Mass., a fan of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s online Red-tailed Hawks Cam, which has been streaming live footage of a hawk nest from atop a light pole on the Cornell University campus since 2012. The sculptured scene represents the female hawk, Big Red, and her previous mate, Ezra, named for university founder Ezra Cornell.

The cam-watching community was devastated when Ezra died in 2017 after injuries from a collision, perhaps with a nearby building or vehicle. Cohen wanted to create a memorial for Ezra.

“When I decided I wanted to have a remembrance of Ezra,” Cohen said, “I started flipping through all the screenshots I had taken from the Hawk Cam. I found this one scene from 2016 [in which] Big Red is stepping back, revealing the chick, which is looking up at Ezra. This gave me the idea for the nesting scene.”

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