For more than two years, Clovis police have hosted an online reality show about a close-knit family whose home boasts an awesome view of the city.
In early 2018, the two remote-controlled cameras mounted on Old Town Clovis’ iconic water tower captured a heart-warming scene: two adult red-tailed hawks had built a nest on the water tank landing. There were eggs.
A Social Media Hit
The city’s police department, which operates and monitors the cameras, had the makings of a social media bonanza. The department began to post video clips of the hawk family on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Three baby hawks popped out in April 2018.
Look who’s back! Momma Red Tailed Hawk is busy keeping her babies warm & fed up on the @OldTownClovis water tower! #babybirds #RedTailedHawk #OldTownClovisWaterTower #WaterTower #Rodeo #Clovis #ClovisRodeo pic.twitter.com/KtmULFt8s5
— Clovis Police (@ClovisPolice_CA) April 25, 2018
“I think the entire process is pretty interesting. They go from hatching to eating on their own, then flying for the first time,” said Shawn Knapp, a police department community service officer.
A collection of monitors at Knatt’s desk display the department’s security cameras, which include the hawk-cams. Other than the monitoring equipment, the city’s contact in the birds is completely passive. Nothing has been done that might interfere with the hawks’ habits, Knapp said.
They’re flying and we finally caught it on camera! Our baby Red-Tailed Hawks are not babies anymore! They are flying daily to the trees across the street to practice!#babybirds #RedTailedHawk #OldTownClovis #Clovis #oldtowncloviswatertower #allgrownup pic.twitter.com/jz7w4CpGY9
— Clovis Police (@ClovisPolice_CA) June 8, 2018
Four New Hatchlings
This spring, the family cycle repeated itself. This time, there were four hatchlings. A Facebook post in April featuring the newborns attracted 440 likes and 98 shares. Other posts got similar attention.
— Clovis Police (@ClovisPolice_CA) April 26, 2019
Ready to Take Flight
On Wednesday, the police department posted an update that showed the swiftly maturing young hawks were preparing to take wing.
There’s a whole lotta flappin’ goin’ on up atop the @OldTownClovis water tower today! All 4 babies…aren’t babies anymore & they’re practicing for their 1st flight!
— Clovis Police (@ClovisPolice_CA) May 21, 2019