Backyard Chirper

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Miracle From A Red-Tailed Hawks Nest

Just a day after the New York Times reported that it’s very unlikely three Red-Tailed Hawk eggs in a nest outside New York University would hatch, a miracle happened on that ledge high above the city: the eggs began hatching.

These hawk eggs are not just run-of-the-mill hawks, but became celebrities after the Times set up a Bird Cam to capture the amazing moment when the eggs would hatch.

After 35 days of incubation and thousands of viewers on the Bird Cam, experts sadly reported that the window of hatching had closed. Typical incubation periods are 32 days with a 35 day max. After that, it’s almost unheard of for the eggs to hatch.

Nevertheless, today at around 10:20 am on the 45th day, the eggs began hatching. Immediately after the first eyass (baby hawk) emerged, the second one appeared. The mother and father, named Violet and Bobby, have been sitting on the chicks, so it’s hard to tell if the third one has hatched yet.

The expert consulted by the Times said that once the other chicks hear the hatched eyass chirping, they will also emerge, so they don’t miss any food.

For a moment, it seemed as though the grim reality of the wild I’d posted about not too long ago was going to come true. About a quarter of a Red-Tailed Hawk’s first attempt at reproduction fails, so it was no real shock that everyone thought this one had failed as well. Fortunately, the hawks finally emerged from their eggs.

The next few weeks will definitely be an exciting time for Violet, Bobby and the new babies, so if you can, I recommend observing some of their natural behaviors and actions in the live stream above.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.

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