Meet The River Hawks

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Nest Camera - Outside View

You are watching a live video stream from atop Fox Hall at UMass Lowell where a pair of Peregrine Falcons lay eggs every spring.


To choose a different camera please click on the links above (and please be patient as it loads) or hover over the screen and click on this icon.


Naming Contest

The River Hawk mascot is Rowdy. It’s time to give the new 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 we have now.

A vote will determine the winning names from among the finalists. Winners will receive a prize! Watch for contest posts on the University’s Facebook and Instagram pages or submit your vote to
The winning names will be unveiled at an adoption ceremony at 3 p.m. on April 22 at—where else?—the Hawk’s Nest at University Suites on East Campus
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Meet The River Hawks

MeetNamingThey’ve occupied the penthouse suite at Fox Hall since 2007, or possibly earlier. They don’t take classes, they don’t teach, they don’t do research. They are the pair of peregrine falcons—one of only 22 pairs in the state—and they call UMass Lowell’s East Campus home. 

Since discovering them while attempting to hang a banner from the roof of Fox Hall, the University has enthusiastically supported them, working with the state’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. We have installed a box for their nesting, helped the state tag and track the chicks and have installed web cams to monitor their activities. 

Adopting The River Hawks

Now the University wants 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. 

Protection and Respect

Falcon safety and respect come first. We won’t be dressing them in silly clothes (as if we could get that close!) or compromising their freedom, food sources or nest. We will continue to work with Fisheries and Wildlife to monitor them and, in fact, will increase educational and awareness program about the River Hawks.

Special Thanks

A special thank you to Mercier Electric & Communications, Inc. for sponsoring and installing the nest camera.