Marietta College hawk cam shows hatchling

A hawk tends to a recently hatched offspring high in a nest along Putnam Street. The nest, located just east of Mills Hall, can be viewed via a web camera. This photo is a screen capture from the camera. (Photo Provided)

MARIETTA — Hawk-eyed watchers of a Marietta College bird nest may have noticed a new bundle of fluff.

A red-shouldered baby hawk recently hatched and can be seen through live stream on the college’s YouTube page by searching for “Marietta College hawk cam.”

Tom Perry, vice president for communication and brand management, said the webcam started in early to mid-March. This is the third year for the webcam, which is set to watch the nest 24 hours a day, seven days a week while the hawks are nesting.

“I’ve only seen one so far,” Perry said of the chick. “It is really high up in a tree, probably four stories high, so we haven’t been able to get a close look.”

He said there will probably be a better view of any chicks in the next few days, as the mother hawk has been shielding her baby.

Perry said if anyone wants to watch the livestream, now is a good time.

“They’ll probably be there the month of May,” he noted. “By the time summer hits, they are usually gone.”

The Audubon Field Guide notes the female hawk will sit on her eggs for around 33 days. It will be 40 to 45 days after hatching until fledgling, which is when the chicks acquire the feathers to fly.

The young leave the nest about 5 to 7 weeks after hatching.

Nests are built in a fork of the main trunk or at the base of branches against the trunk, usually 35 to 65 feet above ground. The nest may be reused for more than one season.

Lori Smith, assistant professor in communications at Marietta College, watches the hawk’s nest online.

“As someone who loves nature, as well as birdwatching, this live feed provides a unique perspective on this pair of red-shouldered hawks as they raise their chick,” she said. “My office is in Mills Hall and the pair has nested near there for several years now. I can often hear them from my office or the classroom. Plus, it’s been a nice distraction during the pandemic. Springtime is a time of birth and renewal, so it gives us hope.”

This is the first chick to hatch for this hawk pair, who have made their nest high in a tree on Putnam Street since 2018.

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