The spring live bird webcam season is well underway, with the suspense mounting at many sites as to when eggs will hatch, parents will kick out their offspring and more. Here are five live streaming cams you can check out to see the avian action:
For at least the past four years, a pair of red tailed hawks has been nesting on a light pole 80 feet above Cornell University's athletic fields on Tower Road. This year, the university set up a camera to spy on the majestic birds as they raise their young.
As of this writing, mama "Big Red" has laid three eggs, so her clutch is likely complete. Incubation lasts several days, with the first hatches expected during the week of April 13. You can also sometimes see the prey of the parents, which can be a bit gorey. So far, the camera has captured voles, squirrels and pigeons being devoured in the nest.
The dad hawk doesn't have a nickname yet. You can help with that effort by going to this Cornell page.
Watch an eagle pair in their enormous 6-foot-wide and 5-foot-deep nest at the Fort St. Vrain Station, Platteville, Colo. This particular nest has been active for many years, so much so that the Colorado Division of Wildlife bands young birds at the nest each spring. Last year, two baby bald eagles came into the world at the site.
If you click on a second link at the page, you can also view another family of eagles residing near a fish hatchery in Decorah, Iowa.
Watch two rare California condors, Sisquoc and Shatash, as they take turns caring for their new chick. With much fanfare, the chick emerged from its shell March 10. This marked the world's first public viewing of a condor chick hatching.
During day hours you can watch a pair of peregrine falcons that built their nest in a box on a platform at the top of the Ameren Missouri Sioux Energy Center in West Alton. Peregrine falcons — some of the fastest animals on Earth — tend to build their nests at very high places, like the top of cliffs and skyscrapers, so the cam provides a rare look at what goes on in the nest.
The Friends of Island Beach State Park in New Jersey set up the osprey cam. The nest looks to be enormous. Watch for the raptors in the nest, which seems to be teetering on a raised structure. Ospreys have about a 71-inch wingspan and often nest near water. Their diet primarily consists of fish.
Photo: A bald eagle sitting on its nest. Credit: Paul Sundberg