The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him.Henry David Thoreau, "Walking"
Our MIT correspondent, Mark, alerts us to MIT HawkCam, created by the Institute's Academic Media Production Services:
Here is a webcam looking outside of our offices onto Mass. Ave. These are Red-tailed Hawks and their two babies!! (:-))
I hope it works outside of MIT. Really neat.
We agree . . . They are so busy and earnest, and the parents are so attentive. We keep MIT HawkCam open on our desktop and check in often . . . Hoping to catch a dramatic takeoff or landing. We note that they chose to build their aerie in our native Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus). And the HawkCam DOES work outside of MIT! Thanks so much, Mark. (:-))
Fun infobits from The Hawk Conservancy Trust:
The Red-tailed Hawk [Buteo jamaicensis] is, for a member of the buzzard family, a powerful and husky species, with the widest ecological tolerance of any North American Hawk, being absent only from tundra and deep forest.
The pair bond is strong, even outside the breeding season, and the large female will defend her smaller mate against aggressors.
Colouring varies (even within sub-species) from this very dark appearance to a very pale form, so field identification is more satisfactory from the birds' behaviour than from appearance alone. Within its range, its frequent soaring and loud voice are a good pointer.
The usual cry is a two- to three-second hoarse, rasping scream that has a little of the steam whistle about it. This is a scream of annoyance or anger, usually heard when an enemy or a rival hawk comes into its range . . . When parents leave the nest, the young utter a loud wailing klee-uk, repeated several times -- this is a food cry.
We'd love to hear that food cry. Hey, Mark, how about adding sound to the HawkCam?
Update: All About Birds has an excellent photograph showing the eponymous red tail.