Cornell University Hawk Camera

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.



  1. Sues says:

    Big Red is such a good mommie. But that’s not a very feminine name. Sounds like a redneck.
    Too bad some human mommies aren’t as good as she is. Seems that animals take better care
    of their offspring than a lot of humans.

    • Marie says:

      Generalizations are misleading Sues not all animals take better care of their young than humans – there are many other species that kill or eat their young….a lioness may have her cubs destroyed if the pride’s males are replaced; Bottlenose dolphins have been reported to kill their young through impact injuries; infanticide is widespread in Black-tailed prairie dogs. There are lots more examples that you can google. The big difference is our so-called superior intellect in that we can make a CHOICE whereas animals are following the call of the wild.

    • Uzay Sezen says:

      Sues, Big Red is not alone. Ezra (the daddy) is also contributing in parental care. They take turns.

  2. Özcan ŞENGÜL says:

    Yumurtalar çatlamaya başladı,yavruların ilki kanımca bugün yumurtadan çıkacak.

    • Uzay Sezen says:

      henuz bu yuvada hareket yok. Cornell Universite kampusu NY’a gore daha iceride (denizden uzak) ve kuzeyde (soguk). heyecanla bekliyoruz! 🙂

  3. ışık kavalcı says:

    Çok güzel, çok teşekkürler canlı yayın için…

  4. Özcan ŞENGÜL says:

    Bu Şahin kamerayı farkediyor galiba,biraz huysuz gibi bugün,sürekli kameraya bakıyor.

  5. ışık kavalcı says:

    Evet, şahin sürekli olarak arkasını kontrol ediyor. Yavrularını koruma iç güdüsü…

    • Uzay Sezen says:

      Dediklerine gore kameranin merceginde kendi yansimasini goruyormus. Oyle olunca yabanci bir sahin mi var diye kontrol ediyor olabilirmis.

  6. Jazz Lassie says:

    I was just curious, where exactly has Big Red set her nest? I can hear buses and people in the backdrop very clearly.

    • Uzay Sezen says:

      They have been nesting on a light pole 80 feet above Cornell University’s athletic fields on Tower Road for the past four years. Yes you are right. Sounds you hear are human generated.

  7. Özcan ŞENGÜL says:

    Cornell Ünversitesi kamera bağlantısı sorunu yaşıyorum,bağlantı sayısı 3000 lerde olması bağlantı sorunu olabilir mi acaba,maalesef bu gidişle yavruların çıkışını izleyemeceğim 🙁

  8. Brenna Angin says:

    This live video is very entertaining. What is the average amount of eggs the Red-Tailed Hawk lays per season?

    • Uzay Sezen says:

      Brenna, Red-tailed Hawks lay 1-3 eggs depending on the availability of food source. You can find more info in

      • Brenna Angin says:

        Would you say this red-tailed hawk has a great food source depending on the amount of offspring?

        • Uzay Sezen says:

          This pair have been nesting there for more than 4 years now. They defend a territory and know where to find prey. They are experienced compared to the other pair in NY city who just paired up this year and two chicks. How do they do birth control? We have to ask ornithologists 😉

    • taylor says:

      it lays 15

  9. Brenna Angin says:

    How is the population of the red-tailed hawk in the Cornell University area?

  10. Özcan ŞENGÜL says:

    Yavrular çok sağlıklı görünüyor,annesi sürekli beslemeye çalışıyor ama,minikler çabuk doyuyor.:)

  11. Bob Smith says:

    How old are the babies now?

  12. Bob says:

    Where did the third baby go?

  13. Bob says:

    Which bird is banded on the left leg, I just saw it dining on a mouse?
    We can’t wait for the egg laying, and all the fun watching the babies hatch!

  14. Linda says:

    How many eggs are Big Red /Ezra sitting on. We’ve only seen one.

  15. Bob says:

    I see three eggs have been laid, I was wondering how long before the eggs hatch?

  16. Bob says:

    I’ll go with 4/20, just for fun on first egg pipping.

  17. Bob says:

    So I guess I was off by a week , but nice to see the first two

  18. Bob says:

    So Larry and Curly popped out what’s the hold up with Moe?

  19. Bob says:

    I think the names are better than last years D 1,2 & 3. I think it gives them more character! They act like the Stooges
    Beating each other . Lol

  20. Bob says:

    When did E-1 fledge?

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    obtain most recent updates, therefore where can i do it please help out.

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