Red-tailed Hawk egg hatches on a snowy day as thousands watch on Cornell Lab of Ornithology's live streaming camera.
Big Red, the female hawk, watches her first chick closely.

Snowy Surprise: Hawk Eggs Hatch as Thousands Watch

Live video streams from 70 feet above Cornell campus

For release: April 24, 2012

Ithaca, New York--On Earth Day this past Sunday, two Red-tailed Hawk eggs began to hatch in a nest 70 feet above the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York. Thousands of viewers from around the world watched a live camera feed from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology online, waiting for the first glimpse of the chicks.

Then darkness fell, and snow began to fall.

"By morning, snow was piled high in the nest around Big Red, the female hawk," said Charles Eldermire, who leads the Cornell Lab's BirdCams project. "For hours we waited, as viewers kept asking questions in the live chat about whether the young would survive."

At 1:53 p.m. on Monday, after most of the snow in the nest had melted, Big Red stood up. The live chat went wild with cheers as she revealed a fuzzy white chick and two eggs, one of them in the process of hatching.

Since March 19, nearly half a million people have watched 24/7 as the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s live cam has streamed high-definition footage of Big Red and her mate, Ezra.

Eldermire said the two remaining eggs are due to hatch any day now. To watch the live cam, visit
Media Note:
B-roll footage and still images available upon request.
Pat Leonard, Cornell Lab, (607) 254-2137,
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a membership institution dedicated to interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s website at

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