Syracuse University Magazine

Campus Hawk Watch


On a ledge beneath an archway of Lyman Hall, a female red-tailed hawk known as SU-Sue sits on a nest, tending to eggs. She is part of a family of red-tailed hawks that took up residence on campus several years ago, capturing the attention of birdwatchers and the Syracuse community. Along with SU-Sue, there’s her mate, Otto, and a second female, SUNY, whose relationship to the other two remains a mystery. On March 26, a day after laying a third egg, SU-Sue returns to the nest with bark (below) to cushion the eggs, while Otto, relieved of nest duty, takes flight (top image). 

 Earlier in March, in collaboration with the biology department, the University installed a nest cam with live streaming audio and video, thanks to a generous donation from Anne Marie Patti Higgins ’76, G’90, in honor of her late husband, the Honorable Thomas W. Higgins Jr. L’67, who was a Syracuse city court judge and avid birder. The ability to observe and listen to what’s happening in the active nest will provide biology department faculty with the opportunity to gather and archive an array of research information that could be applied to teaching and a host of cross-disciplinary studies. 

To view action from the nest cam and learn more about the project, which includes other cameras placed at strategic viewing locations, visit You can also check out the Syracuse Hawk Chatters Facebook page, which features numerous images of the hawks.

Photos by Cynthia Sedlacek