Three hatchlings in Franklin Institute hawk nest

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Two of three red-tailed hawk hatchlings in 2011 at the Franklin Institute. This year, the pair of adults produced three more eggs, the last of which hatched yesterday. (MATT ROURKE / Associated Press)

Let the distractions begin!

The red-tailed hawks that for several years have inhabited a nest on a third-floor window ledge of the Franklin Institute now have three young cuties in the nest.

Just bits of white fluff and beaks that open impossibly wide, they are stars of their own webcam and have in years past attracted a worldwide audience of thousands. Office workers speak of keeping the web cam up on an alternate screen so they can check in regularly.

The young hawks have also generated an avid following of "Hawkaholics" who follow the birds' actions and post photos on a Facebook site and a fascinating blog, chock full of information.

The last hatching was yesterday, and although most of the time the cam just shows one of the adults on the nest, it's exciting when the adult steps aside to feed the voracious youngsters.

While red-tailed hawks are common -- and increasingly seen in cities -- Institute officials say this gives humans an uncommonly close glimpse at their nesting activities.

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