Meet The River Hawks

Adopting The River Hawks

The University wanted to make the relationships official and “adopt” the family. While peregrine falcons are not exactly the same thing as River Hawks—a mythical bird the University created as mascot back in 1994—they are close enough “cousins” that bringing the falcons into the campus family seems quite natural and right. Plus, historically they were known as Duck Hawks in North America.

Why Are We Doing This?

Why are we adopting these birds into our River Hawk family? Because it is time to close the circle and bring them into the fold the right way.

falcon-in-flight-opt.jpgIn the beginning, they chose us. The peregrine falcons nested 18 stories up, atop Fox Hall. We first spotted them in 2007. It happened quite by surprise, when a maintenance worker atop the roof found himself intimidated by the swooping, protective birds. They stayed. 

They adopted us first.

While some educational institutions have stumbled in their efforts to adopt mascots, we are proud to be working with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) and the state’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to ensure this is done with respect.

We have invited students to name them. There are cameras in their new home so folks can check in on them and learn about them. No silly suits, no cages, no leashes. In adopting them as River Hawks, we simply let them live their lives up on the campus’ highest perch. 

Naming Contest - Meet Merri & Mack!

The River Hawk mascot is Rowdy. So it came time to give the newest River Hawks names as well! 

Students, faculty, staff and the general public were invited to suggest for names for “Mom” and “Dad”, as well as the chicks likely to hatch within weeks. (They usually hatch two or three every early spring.) It was then narrowed down to the three pairs and voting was conducted in an online poll as well through the University’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Read more

Merri and Mack were revealed as the winning names at an adoption ceremony on April 22 at the Hawk’s Nest at University Suites on East Campus.