I confess that my neighborhood Red-Tailed Hawk family is not the only Red-Tailed family that I have been following this Spring! This post is the companion post to "History of a Red-Tailed Hawk Family -- Part 3." The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has mounted a few web cams on the Cornell University campus and I have been following the action of their hawks through their live cam feeds. It has been a great learning experience with close-up views of the young nestlings' development and the care provided by their devoted parents. To see that experience, you will first want to see perhaps the video below on how they mounted the cameras high on the stadium lights (over 70 feet high) where this pair, Big Red (the female) and Ezra (the male), have been known to nest for the past 3- 4 years. You might feel the need for your winter coat and your Dramamine as you watch this video!
There are many videos available on the Cornell website that provide intimate views in the nesting life of this family, including a video of each of the "fledge-falls" of the first 2 chicks and the first, beautifully executed fledging of the third chick (the youngest one which they believe is a female, of course) one week later. Thankfully, the lab also created a summary video montage (below) which serves as a family album capturing several life scenes over the last 3 months of the nesting, hatching, feeding and then the fledging of the three chicks. The quotes in this film come from the many viewers who shared their feelings in the chat room as they watched these birds grow.
And not to be missed! -- You will want to watch this fun slide show of screen shots captured -- another family album!
The webcam and chat continue as the moderators track the birds' flights and activities around the campus post-fledging. The parents and the chicks still return to the nest -- their home base -- fairly often as the parents are still feeding and training their youngsters.
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching these birds and learning from them and the moderators about bird life. It is indeed an amazing life. I hope you also enjoy and learn from the videos that I have shared here and that you visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site for their other webcams as well as for their other very useful educational resources!