Red-tailed Hawks Have Hatched at the Franklin Institute

mature female Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Photo taken by Donna L. Long
mature female Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Photo taken by Donna L. Long

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.

Red-Tail Hawks in Philadelphia

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.

Red-Tails in the Ecosystem

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

More Information on Birds of Prey (Raptors)

Bird of Prey Facts – What Makes a Raptor, a Raptor?

Birds of Prey of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey: A Checklist 

Watching Birds of Prey 

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