Orange Alert

Stay Alert: Hawk Chicks Fledging Their Bowne Hall Nest

Tips in case you spot the young hawks on the Syracuse University campus grounds.

June 10, 2022, by Dan Bernardi

Hawk Chicks on Bowne Hall
SU-Sue and Otto’s four hawk chicks, seen here perched on their Bowne Hall nest, are expected to fledge within the next two weeks.

If you have walked around campus lately, you may have noticed four hawk chicks perched on their nest in the north-facing archway of Bowne Hall. Their parents, SU-Sue and Otto, are the mated hawk pair who have called the Syracuse University campus home since 2012.

In the coming weeks the four chicks will be fledging, which means they will leave the nest and become juvenile hawks. Alumna Anne Marie Higgins, who generously provides funding for cameras which track the hawk family’s activities, offers tips for anyone on campus who may encounter the juveniles on the Syracuse University grounds.

Higgins explains that normal behaviors for the juvenile hawks include screeching loudly for food; walking or running on the ground or along rooftops; flying high and low; perching on trees, ledges, window sills, gutters and rooftops on one leg or two; pouncing on sticks, mulch, rocks, each other and prey (food provided by their parents); and eating insects on the ground or in trees – all a part of learning how to hunt, fend for themselves and live on their own.

hawk sign
Signs like this are posted around campus reminding people to be alert for the juvenile hawks.

It is important to keep a fair distance from a juvenile on the ground. Do not assume it cannot fly or is injured. Observe the hawk’s behavior for a few minutes and it may walk or fly away.

If there is concern or if one is injured, do not touch the hawk, call the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety at 315.443.2224.

Tune into the 24/7 live nest cam, hosted on the College of Arts and Sciences website, or track the hawk family’s adventures at Red-Tailed Hawk Tales on Facebook.

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Dan Bernardi