Red-tailed Hawks Have Hatched at the Franklin Institute

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) at Academy of Natural Sciences workshop

In what has been an annual happening, the Red-tailed Hawk pair that live on a ledge at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, hatched three babies this past week.

In the Philadelphia area, Red-tails lay their first egg in mid-March. And right on time the Franklin Institute female laid her first egg on March 17, 2011. The last egg hatched two days ago on April 25.

We watched the show at the nest last year and it is just as great a learning experience as this year.

Today, I watched the Red-tailed hawk parent feed her/his chicks what looked like a rat. Gruesome, but I am sure in the Center City and river areas there are plenty rodents to feast upon. I read on the website that this pair of Red-tails are partial to pigeon.

The Hawks are performing (for free) a useful service for their human neighbors, rat-catcher. How much would this service cost from a human being?

There is no artificial lighting at the nest, so you can only see the birds during the day. See all the gory glory at

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