Newly hatched hawks living on Franklin's windowsill
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
The Franklin Institute did not seek out it's latest science exhibit; the exhibit sought out the Institute. A pair of hawks nesting outside the Franklin's boardroom have laid three eggs, so the Franklin trained a webcam on them 24/7. It's attracting worldwide attention.
At any given moment, 1,200 people around the world might be watching this Red-Tailed hawk feeding bits of pigeon to her fluffy chicks. Viewership has spiked since Monday, when the chicks first broke out of their eggs. The image is so arresting, Vice President Tony Collins says a partition had to be erected between the hawk family in the window and the rest of the board room.
"They like their privacy, and at the same time we find if we're having meetings in this boardroom and the hawks are outside, people are not paying too much attention."
Thousands of online viewers – called Hawkaholics – have rallied around a few blogs that track the Franklin birds. Della Micah writes one of them. She's attracted to the way the predators have adapted to urban life, as long as they keep their distance.
"I'm terrified of birds, very much, in the way people are of snakes and spiders. But fascinated by them, I just don't care to get too close to birds."
The hawk chicks can be scrutinzed online for about 10 more weeks before they fly the nest.