Nest Cam Spotlight: Red-Tailed Hawks in NYC

Violet and Bobby rolling their eggs. Photo: Christopher James/NYU

Update, May 10: One of Violet and Bobby's chicks hatched! Click on the image to the left to get to the live feed.

The Big Apple’s had its fair share of red-tailed, feathered visitors. (The city’s most famous of this hawk species, Pale Male, is a movie star twice over.) But that doesn’t make Bobby and Violet, a pair nesting on an NYU building ledge, any less amazing to watch. Click on the image to the left to get to the live feed.

Any day now, the birds will hopefully become parents—whether for the first time or again, it’s unclear. Their sturdy yet precariously perched nest outside the 12th-floor office of NYU President John Sexton holds three brown-spotted eggs. Violet, named for the university’s royal color, and Bobby, after Bobst Library where the birds placed their home, take turns protecting their unborn, with Violet doing most of the sitting. At this point, the hawks won’t leave their eggs alone, Sexton told The New York Times.

With Sexton’s permission, the Times, in collaboration with NYU Sustainability, mounted a nest cam inside his office curtains, giving bird lovers all over the pleasure of watching these birds up close.

The thing is, the action’s a bit slow right now. Red-tailed hawks incubate their eggs for between 28 and 35 days; during that time the female spends the majority of her day on nest, with the male bringing her food and occasionally taking a turn on the eggs. Also, there's no guarantee that the eggs are viable.

That doesn't mean you should stop checking in on these beauties. Once their chicks come—which will happen asynchronously, possibly over the course of a few days—there’ll be plenty to see. Red-tailed hawk chicks become active on day two of their lives. Get ready Violet and Bobby.

Check out NYU Sustainability's site dedicated to these red-tailed hawks.

Photo: Christopher James/NYU

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