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Syracuse University Red-Tailed Hawk Family

red tailed hawk laying in nest

Otto in the nest, February 2017. (Photo by Anne Marie Higgins)

Timeline (2016 - Present)

January – February 2018

  • Otto and SU-Sue make return to the nest on Lyman Hall’s north archway, northern-most nest. It was used as an auxiliary nest last year by the parents to store prey and by the chicks as they grew and explored outside of their main nest.

August 27, 2017

  • Juvenile C17 was spotted at Oakwood cemetery. This was the last juvenile sighting in 2017. All juveniles are fed and cared for by their parents, usually through the summer and into the fall when they must find their own territory.

June 15, 2017

  • The third chick, C17 fledged at 14:08. It flew to a railing across the street next to the Life Sciences Center, the same flight path as A17.

June 11, 2017

  • The second chick, B17 fledged beautifully at 13:10. It flew toward the Life Sciences Center roof railing and missed then gently glided down to the ground unharmed. Unfortunately, B17 disappeared and was never found despite several people searching for it.

June 9, 2017

  • The first chick, A17 “accidentally” fledged at 17:45. It was flapping its wings, hopping and fell backwards out of the nest. It quickly turned and flew to a railing across the street next to the Life Sciences Center.

April 28, 2017

  • The third chick, C17 hatched at 08:35.

adult hawk with three chicks

April 26, 2017

  • The first chick, A17 hatched at 05:48 and the second chick, B17 hatched at 13:25, only seven hours and 37 minutes after A17. Usually chicks hatch 1-2 days apart but hatching on the same day happens on occasion. This close together is quite uncommon, at least from what has been documented on other cams. 

adult hawk with two chicks and an egg

March 25, 2017

  • SU-Sue laid her third egg at 8:58:58--2 days, 20 hours and 12 minutes after egg #2.

two adult hawks and three eggs

March 22, 2017

  • SU-Sue laid her second egg at 1:31:52pm--2 days 20 hours and 43 minutes after egg #1 (March 19, 4:04:32pm)

two adult hawks and two eggs

March 20, 2017

  • Official launch of the SU red-tailed hawk nest cam.
  • Began continuous 24/7 LIVE online video and audio stream.
  • Read the College of Arts and Sciences article.
  • Watch the SU News video.

two red tailed hawks in nest with an egg

Otto (L) and SU-Sue (R) in the nest with their first egg, March 20, 2017. (Photo taken via the SU Hawk Nest Cam)

March 19, 2017

  • SU-Sue lays her first egg. For the first time ever, SU-Sue's egg laying was viewed LIVE via the newly installed hawk nest cam.

March 2, 2017

  • Camera was installed on the 4th floor of the Life Sciences Complex.
  • Began continuous 24/7 video capture of long-range view of the North archway.

close up of red tailed hawk

Close up of SU-Sue, the female parent. (Photo by Anne Marie Higgins)

2016 Season

August 22, 2016

August 11, 2016

  • After spending 24 days recovering from a bruised right wing, Aurora was released back to the SU campus on the Quad, and her parents resumed caring for her.
  • View the release.

July 11, 2016

  • A Facebook page—Syracuse Hawk Chatters—was started for observers to post photographs and daily accounts of the activities of the SU red-tailed hawks.

June 11, 2016

  • The first chick fledged. First, it landed on a fence railing near a fraternity house, and then flew to a tree, after which one of the parents delivered its first meal outside the nest.
  • View the day's events: Clip 1 | Clip 2 | Clip 3

Spring 2016

  • Otto and SU-Sue and another adult female red-tail (named SUNY) were observed together through the winter and into the spring. In preparation for the chicks, the adults refurbished the nest on the North side of the South archway of Lyman Hall. Six chicks hatched in late April or early May and were raised by the three adults. As the chicks began to grow too large for one nest, they walked across the archway ledge to the Southern nest. This ledge was used as a training platform for the chicks to flap their wings in preparation for fledging.

Related Pages

red tailed hawk landing at a nest

One of the adults displays its signature red tail, February 2017. (Photo by Tom Durr)