The Presidio Trust has launched a live "hawk cam" that allows viewers to follow a pair of red-tailed hawks as they raise their family. (Courtesy art)

Presidio Trust ‘Hawk Cam’ live streams red-tailed hawk family’s nest

Bird lovers can watch a pair of red-tailed hawks raise their family in San Francisco’s Presidio this spring with a “hawk cam” placed there by the Presidio Trust.

The web cam has been placed 100 feet high in a blue gum eucalyptus tree and will live-stream the nest of a pair of red-tailed hawks known to reside in the area year round.

The live stream began on February 1 with the construction of the nest, an activity that takes anywhere from three to seven days. The “hawk cam” has also captured other interactions so far, like hummingbirds stealing twigs and feathers.

When the eggs are eventually laid, they will take 28-35 days to hatch.

Over the next few months, the live-cam will follow the chicks from little eggs to their first flight from the nest. The YouTube channel will continuously compile a highlight playlist of the hawk interactions for viewers who can’t constantly check in.

The Presidio is well known for bird watching and 323 birds have been spotted there, so far, in part because of its location on a major migration path.

Many migrating birds take a pit-stop in the Presidio in the spring to build or rehabilitate nests for their future chicks. But these hawks are year-round Presidio residents, according to the Presidio’s Natural Resources department.

One of the hawks is banded, most likely by the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, and the Presidio Trust is still working to get a clear picture of the band so that they can learn more about the hawk.

The web cam is being operated this year in dedication to former Presidio forester Peter Ehrlich, who died last May. Ehrlich died in a bicycle accident in May 2017 and was one of the earliest supporters of the new “hawk cams,” according to the Trust.


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