Campus Resources


Nesting Hawks

Update February 12th, 2015 - Chris Dixon and others have seen Crimson and Gray around campus throughout the winter months.  Chris is keeping an eye on them to see if they start building a new nest or refurbishing the one from last year. If they do and the nest is in a location where we can set up the camera, Hawk Cam will be back for 2015. Also, we will soon have the book Crimson and Gray: The Red-Tailed Hawks of Saint Joseph's University available for purchase. More information on that soon.

You can access the photos of Crimson, Gray, Iggy and Swoop from 2014 here. You can access the videos here.

Update, August 11th - I posted two videos by Ben Ellis in the Hawk Videos section. One shows Iggy eating a squirrel and the other shows Crimson carrying off a squirrel she had killed. Both are from the Merion Campus where Iggy, Crimson and Grey have all been seen a lot recently. 

Update, August 5th - Sadly, Swoop died yesterday at the Schuylkill Valley Nature Center.  The cause of death was not determined but it seems likely she suffered some sort of blunt-force trauma last Thursday. We were privileged to witness her short life. She was only with us for 84 days but she will be remembered for a long time. We buried her near the wall at City Avenue, close to the entrance to the Science Center parking lot. Both Swoop and Iggy spent a lot of time in that area. 

The 2014 video feed for "Hawk Cam" has been discontinued as of 9:30 am, August 4th.  We hope that Crimson and Grey will return to the nest next spring. Intrepid librarian/photographer Chris Dixon and others will keep watching.  If we see evidence of the hawks returning to the nest for next spring we will reinstall the camera and get the word out. Until then, keep checking the facebook group "Red-Tail Hawks of Hawk Hill" for more information. I will post updates here as well. A big thank you to everyone who made the project happen and here's hoping for next year!

Make a gift to help support the Hawk Cam and Book Project - Several people have asked about donating for the cam project. You can make a gift at the link here.  Be sure to choose "Direct gift to area(s) of my choice" under the "Gift Designation" heading, and write "SJU Hawk Cam Project" in the text box for "Other Designation".  All of your money will support the Hawk Cam project, including what we hope will be a forthcoming book about Crimson, Grey, Iggy and Swoop. The book will have many photos from Chris Dixon and others, along with contributed sections describing red-tailed hawk behavior and breeding, urban ecology, hawks in nature writing, the changing public perceptions of hawks, the relationship of Jesuit spirituality and nature, and the "other" hawks at SJU. We need your support to make this happen, please help us raise the funds needed to publish this book! 

Keep up with news about the hawks and what they are doing by following @SJUHawkCam on Twitter!

The video feed has been discontinued as of 9:30 am on Monday, August 4th, 2014.

Videos from Hawk Cam
We now can record short videos from the camera. The videos are posted in the "Hawk Video Gallery" page (use the link at the left). 

Hawk Cam at SJU
A pair of red-tailed hawks, now named Crimson and Grey (female and male) are nesting right here on Hawk Hill, in the large pine tree next to the McShain bridge. The live video above shows our real-life mascots in their natural habitat. (Unfortunately, the feed requires Flash, so devices like iPhones and iPads will not be able to view it.) Hawk enthusiast Betty Ann S, has suggested people consider using the Puffin browser app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.  The app is free but to access the Flash content of the video you will need to pay a subscription fee (I tried it and it works on my iPhone, thank you Betty Ann!).

From Monday, April 7th, the hawks were displaying "nesting behavior" and one or the other of them was on the nest almost continuously.  Red-tailed hawk expert John Blakeman (see below) believes that one of the eggs have hatched around May 12th and the second on May 14th.

The nest is the platform of branches in the middle of the frame, where the tree trunk splits into two large branches. The nest is about 70 feet above the ground and the camera is in the top floor of the McShain dorm but it still has to "look up" to see the nest.

You can view photos of Crimson (the formel or female hawk) and Grey (the tiercel or male hawk), and their children, Iggy and Swoop using the tab at the left marked "Hawk Photos".

You can send questions or comments about the SJU Hawk Cam project to

Questions about the SJU Red-Tailed Hawks? Ask an Expert:
John Blakeman, a licensed master falconer and red-tailed hawk expert living in Ohio, has very kindly been advising us about the SJU Hawk Cam project (thank you John!). He also advises the group running the Franklin Institute's urban hawk nest camera project and the group monitoring the red-tailed hawks in New York's Central Park.  You can ask Joh questions about red-tailed hawks by sending him an email at

More information about red-tailed hawks is also available at the "Virtual Nature Trail" web site at Penn State, and at the "All About Birds" web site maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 

The People Behind the SJU Hawk Cam Project:
The Hawk Cam project was the result of many people working very hard (and very quickly).  Thanks go to Joe Petragnani, Jim Brady, Dave Brown, Gavin Printz, Kyle Tucker and Jeff Bachovchin from the IT and Telecommunications side of the house for the camera, network connection and web page set up. Rob Convery from Facilities Management for helping to figure out the installation logistics. Chris Dixon from the SJU library, for tirelessly tracking the birds and following them to locate the nest site. Dr. Julie McDonald for the idea that got the cam project started and for getting us in touch with John Blakeman.  Kevin Robinson, VP for Facilities for providing the impetus and support to make this go from suggestion to reality in two days. Finally, special thanks to our hawks, Crimsonand Grey. We wish them a long and happy life together here on hawk hill, and may they have many children!


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