The KGW-Audubon Society Raptor Cam provides a bird's eye view of the nest of a pair of Red-tailed hawks nesting outside an office building in downtown Portland.
Some local Red-tailed hawks remain in the Portland Metro area year round. Other Red-tails migrate south for the winter and some migrate to Oregon from climates farther north.
The Red-tails have entered their "courtship" and "nest building" phase, which can last several weeks, according to Audubon Society experts. Viewers can expect to see "spectacular aerial displays, food deliveries, handoffs and copulations."
Last year, the hawks laid three eggs around March 8 and on April 16th. but one later died after struggling with a deformity that prevents him from feeding himself.
The hawks were expected to remain active for the next few weeks. The female will begin to slow down and look lethargic before she lays her eggs.
American Red-tail hawks are legally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The hawks nesting in downtown Portland that are on the Raptor cam are not disturbed by the surveillance. The camera itself is placed about 15 feet above the nest and shoots through a fire escape.
The female is about 25 percent larger than the male.
Late winter provides excellent avian watching, particularly when looking for birds of prey, Audubon Society experts said. Birds of prey spend late winter in courtship and "in their full, raging glory," according to bird watchers.
The Metro area hosts more birds of prey during late winter than during summertime. Watchers said the Sauvie Island Wildlife Refuge provides a great location for prime bird watching at this time of year.
Last weekend, a prairie falcon, native to Eastern Oregon, was spotted at the refuge, bird watchers said.
The Audubon Society is hosting a Wildlife Care Center Feb. 21-22, providing the public an opportunity to see and learn about raptor rehabilitation and meet local resident raptors. For more information, visit the Portland Audubon Society website.
Bird watchers were encouraged to participate in the Audubon Society's