Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hawks at the Franklin Institute

Red-tailed Hawks nesting on top of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia have new chicks.

Midday, the male brought a dead rat or mouse - the staff couldn't tell - and much later the female ripped off some shreds and fed the first chick.

About that time, the third chick began to hatch....

Months ago, the whole thing seemed so improbable.

That was when the hawks began building a nest, but several times it blew down. Then a building crew fastened a board in place to widen the ledge, and the nest stayed.

It just happened to be in front of a window, which made it possible to mount a webcam with live streaming.

By mid-March, three eggs had been laid. The staff anticipated they might hatch as early as April 6. But the days went by, and nothing happened.

Finally, yesterday morning, a hole appeared in one of the eggs, and online chat took off.
A live webcam of the Franklin Institute nest is available at The site has many archived video clips from previous days, in addition to the live feed. The Franklin Institute has more information about the nest, included photos from two of the three hatches.