Hawk featured on Franklin Institute nest cam dies

Red-tailed hawk T2 first joined the nest at the Franklin Institute in May 2012.

One of the hawks made famous by the Franklin Institute Hawk Nest Cam has died.

The male hawk, dubbed T2, joined the nest in May 2012 after the original male hawk, or tiercel, was hit by a truck. The announcement of T2’s death was made Saturday in a post on the Hawkwatch blog.

“Earlier this week, Amtrak workers in the train yards near 30th Street station found a dead hawk on the tracks,” blogger Della Micah wrote. “Because T2 has not been seen since last Sunday, it seems highly likely that this hawk was T2.”

After T2 was accepted into the group two years ago, he quickly assumed a parental role, helping the mother hawk raise her young. T2 returned last year and raised three of his own offspring, though two were lost to window strikes.

Micah said T2 may have been the first tiercel to be accepted into a parental role and permitted to raise another hawk’s offspring, even though he was not their mother's mate. “T2 was truly a hawk hero,” she wrote. 

The Franklin Institute started the Hawk Nest Cam in 2009 when two red-tailed hawks built a nest on a window ledge of the museum and staffers decided to live stream them as they raised their young. The video feed returned each spring and quickly became popular with viewers around the world.

It’s unclear whether the female hawk will lay eggs this year, as she now lacks a tiercel to provide help, according to Hawkwatch.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or awigglesworth@philly.com. Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

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