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Hawk Nest at 185 Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge

I’ve been meaning to write about the hawk nest at 185 Alewife Brook Parkway in Cambridge for a week or two but real estate has been keeping me too busy to blog.

I was out on a tour with buyers when we passed a group of people with binoculars looking up at the office building across from Whole Foods. The nest on the front of the building is quite large and hard to miss once you try to figure out what everybody’s looking at.

A quick search pulled up all sorts of info about the red-tailed hawk nest and its occupants – the two parents and their three baby chicks. Here’s a video that tells the story of the Cambridge hawk family.  There’s also an update on youtube that shows the chicks in the last few days – they’re really getting big!

The Boston Globe had a long article about the hawks today and it hit the news on TV this evening as well. The hawk family is famous! 

According to the Globe article, traffic’s been affected as people slow to try to figure out what’s going on. Truthfully the traffic through this stretch is so horrendous you’re typically sitting there anyways. 

Two of the baby red tailed hawks at 185 Alewife Brook Parkway

2 of the baby red tailed hawks at 185 Alewife Brook Parkway

Update on May 29th:  I finally stopped and joined the crowd watching the birds.  The babies are so big now that you can see them clearly when you’re driving by – and it sometimes seems that only one or two are still in the nest. 

But no – all three are still there though they seem to take turns standing up at the front of the nest.

I think that’s why some of the birdwatchers return day after day – they’re hoping to catch the hawks’ first flight.


It must be getting pretty crowded in that nest. And as my dad commented – those hawk parents are working really hard keeping those big baby birds fed.

My dad was a bit blase about hawk watching since he’d just been fishing up in New Hampshire the day before and had a close-up view of the bald headed eagle that nests at the lake.

Watching the hawks across from Whole Foods

Watching the hawks across from Whole Foods

Birdwatching traffic problems remind me of another amazing roadside birdwatching opportunity – the blue heron rookery on Route 2 near 495 – it’s in Littleton I think.  When the herons first nested here cars lined the side of the highway as people parked to watch these beautiful birds. In short order no parking signs were posted.  Nowadays you have to crane your neck as you zoom by – not the safest way to birdwatch.  Someday I’m going to find some place to park and hike back.

Categories: Everything Else

  1. Anna Barbara

    You can get near the rookery for a better view by taking the first exit going toward Boston after passing the rookery on your right.Turn left at the end of the exit ramp and then find the first street on the right and wind down it keeping close attention to your right hand side after about a half of a mile. It’s been a few years since I have done this so memory is a little dim about it but if you are on the correct street you will see a sort of small entry way or driveway eventually, usually with a chain across it. Park on the street and walk down the path curving around to the left a bit as I recall. It will bring you around to the back of the swanp where the rookery is affording you a good view of the nests. You will be looking into the swamp and can see route 2 accross the swamp.

  2. Elizabeth Bolton

    Hi Anna ~ I can’t thank enough for letting me know about this. I’ve been risking life and limb every spring trying to view the rookery while speeding by. I’m definitely going to check this out.


  3. george mclean photographer

    hello, 4/3/11 i am a pro photographer ( 50 years of photography) and would like to give you some of my pictures i take of the 185 hawks. i spend s few hours every day with my hawk family. actually the first born this year (around the 9th or 10th of april) will be ‘named george’. i would love to send photos of the coulple consumating their love, building the nest and feeding each other as they sit on the eggs,george mclean medford

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