Birds in the News

Today’s Forecast: A Red-Tailed Hawk With a Major Chance of Cuteness

A curious young raptor discovers a news camera in Nebraska.

Is this thing on?

A 54-second clip of a hawk checking itself out on a weather camera has already racked up thousands of views since surfacing on the Internet on Monday.

The 1011 News Weather Team of Lincoln, Nebraska, posted the video on YouTube with the caption: “Nobody probably thought they would see something like this today.” The bird is seen getting up close and personal with the lens, shooting bewildered looks at it and trying to figure out what’s on the other side. At times it turns its head upside down and opens its mouth, as if to say, “is anyone really there?”

We spoke to Audubon Nebraska’s bird expert, who thinks the cameo was made by a Red-tailed Hawk, probably a juvenile because of its characteristic white chest and thick, dark belly streaks. He even has a theory for its curious behavior. “It looks as if it may have seen its reflection,” Jason "the Bird Nerd” St. Sauver says. “Many young or male birds do this thinking they see a rival for territory or mates."

Or, it could just be the bird's vanity showing through. “Perhaps it thought it was as handsome as we all did!” Sauver jokes. Whatever the case, the hawk got its 50 seconds of fame for the day, and gave us a giant reason to smile. 

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