Dr. Todd Katzner, the National Aviary's Director of Conservation and Field Research, was lucky enough to be watching live video as the second and third eggs hatched yesterday within minutes. A fifth may hatch at any time.
He says both parents are feeding the chicks, which look like little fluff balls with beaks and droopy wings now but will grow quickly and resemble the adults in just 28 days. At that point, they will get bands and health checkups. They will stay near the nest even after they start flying and remain in the area until early fall. The adults stay year-round and defend their nest territory.
There are five eggs in a nest at the Gulf Tower. The female who laid the first two disappeared. Another female laid three of her own and is incubating all five. Katzner says it's possible, but would be surprising, if the first two hatch.
Live video of both nests is available, and highlights of the nesting season will be archived at aviary.org/falcon.