Red-Tailed Hawk Story: Welcome G1, G2, and G3!

BR and Ez now have 3 beautiful eggs! It was clear that BR was ready to “get on with it” and her first egg was laid one day earlier than we know of from our records (that start in 2012). However, this week was not without some trepidation as viewers noted that on the night of March 16, BR departed the nest at 10:03 PM and returned at 6:41 the following morning. As time dragged on after her departure, and due to the late hour, campus security was called to check the area around the nest. But there was no news. The eggs remained uncovered for about eight hours.

Charles Eldermire, Bird Cams Project Leader, tweeted the following on March 17:

The longer version of his statement (Twitter only gives you 140 characters) is, “Very little is published about wild incubation in RTHA, especially during egg-laying. It’s unknown what effect this absence will have—really, we can only say that they’ve never left eggs unattended for this long in the past 5 years, so it’s something different to say the least.”

Mod Utah Lefty as well as others were not alarmed since hard incubation had not yet begun and temperatures were not below freezing. Utah Lefty stated, “I really don’t believe the eggs being unattended last night is much to worry about at all. While there’s not really anything of value written specifically about red tails, the differences in physiological requirements of soft and hard incubation are quite far apart. In the former, the eggs basically just need to be kept more or less from freezing. Indeed, coolness is more compatible with viability than hotness in a lot of ways. It’s not uncommon for birds to only sit on the eggs about 50%-70% of the time during the “soft” phase. (This always was the case with our ducks – they’d only incubate about 60% of the time with temps in the 40s and 50s during the soft phase and their eggs were always viable.) One clutch was even left for 12 hours during hard incubation (temps in the 70*s). Development was delayed by 10 days or so but 3 of 4 eggs did hatch.”

It will be an interesting learning experience for all of us to observe what happens after 28-35 days (egg hatching window)! We do know that Big Red and Ezra are experienced parents and we have plenty of good reasons to trust their judgment.



0313 BR and Ez | © S. Horning (hockeygirl)


0313 @ 8:42 AM The morning BR laid her first egg, we caught her staring into the starling pipe! | Elly

“Big Red Lays First Egg, Cornell Hawks Cam, 13 March, 2016” | Video by Lab of Ornithology


0313 @1:09 PM First Egg | S. Staley


0313 “Nature’s Miracle in Our Nest” | W. May


0313 Ez Gets Some Egg Time | Carillon


0313 to 03/14 BR’s first night incubating | ToniRoseSD


0314 1Claude’s cat is ready for the season!


0314 @ 6:59 AM Ez Arrives to Let BR Have a Morning Break | 1Claude


0314 Ez and Egg | keysfishin


0314 Ez Drops Stick on BR | M. Bronstein


0314 Windy Day! “Almost Upended [Ez] as it Blew Between the Lights” | K. Robarts

0314_WhyImAHawkaholic, Reason2016_ImaCHickenHawk

0314 @ 10:09 PM “Why I’m a Hawkaholic, Reason #2,016” | imachickenhawk


0315 @ 1:41 PM “BR…with Bark and of Course Ezra Has to Leave.” | CLMbirds


0316 BR | S. Porter

Around 11:40 AM, BR laid her 2nd egg with her back to the camera. The entire sequence while she was up is uploaded here; however, it is not really necessary to watch the entire thing.


0316 around 11:40 AM Could this be the Arrival of the Second Egg? | A. Icroche

The reveal of the egg happened a bit later on. | Video by elly


0316 @12:44 PM BR and 2 Eggs | Elly


0316 @ 6:17 PM Chippie Drop | C. Barborich

Later that night was when BR left for her eight-hour absence. That occurrence has been discussed early in this blog post.


0316 @ 10:03 PM BR Departs and is Gone for About 8 Hours | ToniRoseSD

” WHAT Are You Thinking BR?” | Video by ncaerie


0318 @ 7:27 AM Typical Shot. BR (with bark): “Does he not know that when I arrive, he is supposed to get up? Ez: “I do not see you.” | Elly

Friday afternoon (the 18th), there was a rather funny episode as BR brought in huge beakful of bark and had to wait while Ez tried to “assist”. Ez left the bark lying at the side of the nest, and BR tucked the bark into the nest herself. “Big Red Returns With A ‘Little’ Piece of Bark” | Video by ryelydennise


0318 @ 1:13 PM BR Arriving with bark | PawsMaryMare


0318 @ 1:14 PM Ez “assisting” with bark. | CLMbirds

0318_BR tucks in the bark herself

0318 @ 1:16 PM BR tucking in the bark herself | elly


0318 BR | S. Porter


0318 “Ez Hunting in One of My Favorite Spots” | © hockeygirl

BR had a quiet evening although the weather wasn’t very nice at the beginning.  “Sleepy Momma in the Snowy Rain” | Video by ryely dennise


0318 @ 7:08 PM BR | MV


0319 @7:09 AM “Breakfast is Served” | Chocolaca Madar

BR laid her third egg at 9:10 AM!  “Welcome Egg #3!” | Video by ncaerie


0319 @ 9:10 AM 3 Eggs Under BR | elly

BR certainly has her reasons, but as in prior years we have certainly noticed her affinity for bark. It has been amusing to note that she has seemed unable to leave the nest without picking up some bark for her return trip! “BR Thinks It’s Going to Be a 3-Blanket Night!” | Video by ncaerie

0319 339 SuchPrettyEggsandaNiceDay_ChocalacaMadar

0319 @3:39 PM “Such Pretty Eggs and a Nice Day” | Chocalaca Madar


  • Historical Chart with Dates for Laying, Hatching, and Fledging:
    A note has been added to this chart: “We can identify with certainty when each egg is laid but not the definite order of hatching. Therefore, the individual designations, such as “G1, G2, G3″ [on the chart] should be taken as reasonable estimates only.”
  • Video Index:
  • Bird and Wildlife Cam Links:


  1. kathy robarts says:

    So much happened for this journal entry!! Such an exciting week. Thanks for all the coverage.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Alice Witt says:

    I cannot always be watching, so am so grateful for the videos and this blog. Thanks ever so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Toni Rosen says:

    Beautifully done Elly, a million thanks ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bob Carbaugh says:

    What a WONDERFUL update – all the stuff I’ve been scrambling to see (and many, missed) all collected and collated…Thanks, so much ! I won’t stop searching, following, but you have created a safety net for me (and lotsa others, my guess). Also thanks for stumbling me into Ron Dudley’s Blog – superb photography – and clear, friendly,description and instruction on his experience & methods – WOW !

    Liked by 1 person

    • elly k says:

      Thank you Bob! I’m happy to provide the update! As for Ron Dudley’s blog, it’s wonderful, isn’t it? I enjoy reading people’s comments at the bottom too, although I don’t always get to those.


  5. Mary says:

    I love your posts, you keep me up to date, since I cannot watch on a regular basis. Also, I always end up lol due to all of the funny comments/pics/antics!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kathleen Jenkins says:

    Wonderful as always, Elly. When Cornell decides to publish a book on BR & Ezra, you should write it.

    Liked by 1 person

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