All media is property of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology unless otherwise noted. This page is current as of the 2016 nesting season.

Differences between Big Red and Ezra:

  • Big Red is larger than Ezra and has a belly band.
  • The black stripe on Ezra’s tail is much more defined than on Big Red’s tail.
  • Big Red is banded on the right and Ezra is banded on the left.
  • Ezra’s scapular “V” is more pronounced than BR’s. Scapulars are small feathers on a bird’s shoulder. In flight, these feathers are at the base of the wing’s leading edge.
  • From the allaboutbirds Red-tailed Hawk Cam FAQ:

“The female, nicknamed ‘Big Red’ in honor of Cornell University, is noticeably larger, with a darker head, nape, and throat. She has a numbered band on her right leg. ‘Ezra’, named after Ezra Cornell, the founder of Cornell University, is banded on his left leg. He’s smaller and has golden-tawny feathers on his face and head, and a paler neck than Big Red.”

BR 04132014

Big Red – “darker head, nape, and throat”

040614 Ez

Ezra – “golden-tawny feathers on his face and head, and a paler neck than Big Red.” Ezra has more white on his face and whiter eyebrows.

Tails 04012015

Tails – Ez, Defined Stripe on Left – BR, Fainter Stripe on Right

BR Belly Band Karels Tour BR from Karels and BOGette LS_Feb 1, 2014, Photos by Karels

Big Red – Belly Band, scap from Karel’s Livestream

Ez Belly Band Karels Tour 02222014_PM_23_KB_Ez

Ezra – No real belly band, scap from Karel’s Livestream

Scapular v pic by lottiesmimi april 7,2013

Scapular V Comparison by LottiesMimi. Ezra’s is more defined than Big Red’s.


Banding – Big Red banded on the right leg, Ezra on the left.

Banding Information

Details from the allaboutbirds Red-tailed Hawk Cam FAQ and 2013 chat conversation with Charles Eldermire, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

  • The last 4 digits of Ezra’s number are 1866 and last 4 of BR’s are 7718.
  • Both birds were banded under the permit of the Director of the Cornell Raptor Program.
  • Blog info updated for 2016, based on cam FAQ:

BIG RED: 13 years old. “She has a unique numbered band on her leg, and the records show that she was banded in the nearby town of Brooktondale, New York, during her first autumn in 2003.”

EZRA: At least 11 years old. “He was banded in 2006 as an adult bird on Judd Falls Road near the Cornell campus.”

1 Comment

  1. Carol says:

    thanks! I needed that information.

    Liked by 1 person

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