Everybody is excited for the 2017 breeding season of the famous Cornell University campus hawks Big Red and her new potential mate.
Unfortunately Big Red’s partner Ezra reportedly has died.
Last year Big Red laid her first egg at about 11:38 ET on March 28th. The breeding season 2015 started with a surprise. Big Red and Ezra moved to their nest to the light pole they used in 2012. There were no longer cameras installed at this nest so some heavy equipment was organized to get up to the nest. Of course, main priority was always not to the disturb the birds and have the minimal impact on them as possible. Cornell team worked fast in this sensitive effort. Weather, logistics, and the hawk pair cooperated and new cameras were installed finally.
Last year the pair returned to nest on Feb 1st. In 2014 we saw a new activity: A male banded on the left leg visited the nest during the “nestoration” activity in Feb 25th. Was there going to be a male rivalry? We all held our breath… The video below is the recording of the third male visiting while Ezra is on the nest:
Big Red laid her third egg on March 25th. Here’s that happy moment captured by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
Last year, the pair has decided to move their nest so the camera was temporarily off-line making adjustments. Unfortunately for this reason, the moment of the first egg being laid on March 14th was not broadcasted live.
2012 has been a wonderful 11 week watching Ezra and Big Red raising their chicks. Following video gives a summary of the 2012 season.
A pair of red-tailed hawk has been nesting in Cornell University campus for at least the past four years. In 2012, the Bird Lab of Cornell University installed a camera to better understand these birds sharing the same campus space with humans. The birds have been seen with prey such as voles, squirrels, and pigeons in the nest.
On March 19, 2012 Big Red laid her second egg. She laid her third egg on March 22. Incubation time ranges between 28-35 days. Red-tails stay together until one of them dies, then the survivor gets a new mate. This is what happened last year to another pair in NY city.
The female named “Big Red” is much browner in the head and was banded in Brooktondale, New York, during her first autumn in 2003. She is almost nine years old and is banded on the right leg. The male who was dubbed Ezra by viewers has more pronounced white streaking around the entire eye. He is at least 7 years old and was banded in 2006. You can learn more from the Bird Lab of Cornell University.
For those who have missed the most recent happy moment can watch this 10 minute video of Big Red laying her third egg.