About the Nest
A Red-tailed Hawk pair has been nesting on a light pole nearly 80 feet above Cornell University’s athletic fields on Tower Road for at least the past four years. In 2012, we installed a camera to get a better look at these majestic birds as they raise their young amid the bustle of a busy campus (see the behind-the-scenes video). So far, we’ve seen the birds bringing prey such as voles, squirrels, and pigeons to the nest.
Big Red and Her Mate
The female, nicknamed “Big Red” in honor of her alma mater, is slightly larger, with a darker head, nape and throat, and is banded on her right leg. From banding records we know she was banded in nearby Brooktondale, New York, during her first autumn in 2003, making her nearly nine years old.
The male, nicknamed "Ezra" after the co-founder of Cornell University, is banded on his left leg. He’s a bit smaller and has golden-tawny feathers on his face and head, and a paler neck than the female. He is at least seven years old and was first banded in 2006 as an adult bird on Judd Falls Road near the Cornell campus.
Learn more about Red-tailed Hawks in our online species guide, and check out our cam resources for educators.
Three Ways to Donate
• By phone: 1-866-989-BIRD
• By check: please include your name and mailing address, and specify donation for Bird Cams.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850