Portland Raptor Cam

For the last few years a Red-tailed Hawk has nested on the fire escape of an office building downtown Portland. The nesting, egg laying, hatching and fledging of the hawks has all been watching by many people through a partnership with the Audubon Society of Portland and local news station KGW. The hawk is again nesting and currently has two eggs in the nest.

This is interesting for two reasons, one is that large raptors can live, nest and raise young in the middle of the city. Another example is Pale Male, another Red-tailed Hawk in New York City which is famous and has even been filmed for documentaries. There are other examples of kestrels nesting in many European cities as well.

The second reason I find this interesting is because of the interest from the public as well as organizations and even the media. Why this is interesting is because it’s a Red-tailed Hawk, one of the most common and widespread species of raptor in the country. It’s a bird that most people familiar with birds wouldn’t give a second look to in an ordinary situation, but set in another location and suddenly it’s of great interest. I remember one day at the University of Oregon dozens of students were gathered around a large tree and everyone walking by stopped and watched as a Red-tailed hawk ate a squirrel.

These are good examples for another reason to provide habitat for wildlife in an urban setting. It’s an excellent opportunity to make people aware of regional wildlife and to educate them as well. Once someone stands below a tree and watches a hawk eat a squirrel they won’t soon forget it.

Check out the KGW Audubon Rapor Cam

Raptor Cam Blog

Kelly Brenner
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