Monday, March 15, 2010

First Falcon Eggs Laid

The peregrine falcon female at the Cathedral of Learning has laid two eggs so far, while the female at the Gulf Tower, which is usually the first to lay, has yet to produce an egg.

You can see the nests on live streaming video with audio at the National Aviary website ( Dr. Todd Katzner, director of Field Research and Conservation, says the female will lay two to five eggs--one every two days. She won’t sit on them much until she’s laid them all so the last-laid egg can catch up to the first-laid, and they'll all hatch in about 30 days.

When the chicks are 28 to 32 days old, they will be banded so their whereabouts can be tracked.

Predators like falcons kick off the bird breeding season, according to Katzner, because the many birds migrating through the region in early spring will provide meals for the falcon families.

Falcon populations, decimated in the past by hunting and pesticides, have recovered on their own to the point that they’re no longer on the federal Endangered Species list, though they are still on the Pennsylvania list. The most frequent cause of unnatural death now are power lines, wind turbines, cars, etc.

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