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Sad News from the Bird Cams: Ezra, Beloved Red-tail at Cornell, Is Dead

As some of you may know, Ezra has not been seen on the Cornell Hawks cam or on the Cornell campus for the past several days, and worries have been mounting. We are extremely sad to have to share the news with you that we learned this evening that Ezra has died.

On Saturday, March 18, the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center received an injured Red-tailed Hawk who we now know was Ezra, and who had been found near the A. D. White House on campus. After examining him and taking X-rays, veterinarians determined that the severe wing fracture could not be repaired and flight would never again be possible. They made the difficult but humane decision to euthanize him on Sunday. Meanwhile, “Birders on the Ground” (or BOGs) Cindy and Karel Sedlacek had grown increasingly concerned about Ezra’s absence and contacted us here at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

We reached out to the Wildlife Health Center to ask whether any hawks had been brought in, and were able to confirm through his leg band numbers that this bird was Ezra. We will share any other updates we receive after a final necropsy is completed. Ezra has touched our lives and the lives of millions of people of all ages ever since we started watching him and Big Red in 2012. He inspired us with his beauty and personality as well as his devotion and success in working with Big Red to raise 15 nestlings in just the past five years.

Ezra was banded near the Cornell campus in 2006 when he was already an adult, making him at least 12 years old. We recognize that many of you feel shock and sadness, as we doWe wish to thank the veterinarians at the Wildlife Health Center for being available every day, around the clock, to help wildlife in distress. We are truly fortunate that our hawks and other wildlife in the area receive such world-class care because of them.

We also wish to thank Karel and Cindy Sedlacek who had been closely tracking Ezra and Big Red and alerted us of his absence. Finally, thanks to all of you for forming the incredible community that has helped us all deepen our understanding and appreciation of these remarkable birds. We encourage you to celebrate Ezra’s life and share your tributes by posting your screen caps and comments on this page or emailing

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American Kestrel by Blair Dudeck / Macaulay Library