Last year, a pair of red-tailed hawks made a nest on a window ledge at the Franklin Institute, just across from the Parkway Central Library in Logan Circle. With the help of a webcam, visitors to the Institute’s website were able to get an amazing close-up view of these hawks’ lives last spring, as they finished building their nest, laid three eggs, and eventually raised three healthy young hawks. Red-tailed hawks mate for life and will often reuse the same nesting site each year. This pair returned to the Franklin Institute in January 2010 to get their nest back into shape, and webcam watchers reported the appearance of the first egg on March 13. By March 19, there were three eggs in the nest
If you use the Parkway Central Library frequently, or if you’re planning on making a visit this spring, keep your eyes on the skies—you just might get to see one of the hawks in person! This morning, one member of the pair was perched on a ledge behind the Library building just as staff members were coming in to start their workday. We’re looking forward to seeing them hang around Logan Circle, hunting for pigeons and squirrels, and coaching their hatchlings on their first flights later this spring.
If you're not able to come see the hawks in person, you can get a close-up view of all the action in the nest by visiting the Franklin Institute's webcam at www2.fi.edu/hawks. The Hawkwatch blog has plenty of great photographs of the pair, accompanied by interesting hawk facts and information about last year's nest.
Want to read more about spotting red-tailed hawks or other local birds? Here are some recommended titles from our collection:
Red-Tails in Love: A Wildlife Drama in Central Park, by Marie Winn, is the story of Pale Male and his mate, the famous red-tailed hawks who nested on a ledge overlooking New York City's Central Park. Philadelphia's hawks might end up this popular, too.
Birds of Pennsylvania, by Stan Tekiela
Birder's Guide to Pennsylvania, by Paula Ford
How to Spot Hawks and Eagles, by Clay Sutton and Patricia Taylor Sutton
The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds - Eastern Region, by John L. Bull
Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America, by Roger Tory Peterson