Hawk babies hatch at Franklin Institute

April 20, 2010 12:28:50 PM PDT
A red-tailed hawk at the Franklin Institute is a mother once again.

Two of her babies have just hatched, with a third still in its egg.

The infant hatchlings had their first meal on Tuesday. Mom fed the chicks what appeared to be freshly caught prey at 6:30 in the morning.

The pair first made its home at the institute last year, producing three baby hawks. Last year's brood hatched around this time, too.

Red-tailed hawks are monogamous, meaning that a hawk will choose one mate and stay with that mate for life.

The nest sits on a windowsill outside a third-floor boardroom at the museum, and a webcam has been set up so you can watch the nest anytime.

RELATED LINK: Hawk webcam from the Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute says Philadelphia provides a suitable year-round habitat for red-tailed hawks. They can be found in open areas with elevated perches where they sit and watch for their prey.

They are meat-eaters and feed on small to medium-sized mammals and birds. In an urban area such as Philadelphia, that would certainly include rodents, although these particular hawks are most commonly observed to be feeding on pigeons.