MIT Hawkcam

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PRESENTER: These baby chicks were hatched on April 9 in a tree just across the street from the student center. During the week of April 19, MIT's in-house video production department set up a video camera and shared these images 24/7 throughout the Institute. We were amazed at how quickly they grew.

Not unlike the graduates we honor today when they were just babies, the single mission of these youngsters was to be fed and to sleep. The parent hawks constantly doted on the chicks, delivering a nonstop assortment of Cambridge area prey. Their first tentative steps resulted in the inevitable stumble and header. And as the last bits of down were preened away and feathers continued to grow, the youngsters enthusiastically tested their abilities that defied gravity.

Finally, graduation week had arrived. And just a week ago Tuesday, the more precocious sibling, whom we named Kittyhawk, jumped from the nest and glided safely to the other side of Mass Ave., landing on a bicycle rack in front of the student center. The very next morning, Saturday, 5:00 AM, Mitzi took his maiden flight. Later that day, he and Kittyhawk were spotted together on the highest ledge of the student center, and have since been spotted on ledges and window sills throughout the Institute. You may even see them flying about today.