BOISE, Idaho –The daily life of a wild Peregrine Falcon family in downtown Boise is once again on view via a webcam now in its sixth season
The female laid her first egg today (March 26), the earliest date since the webcam was installed in 2009. Typically, a Peregrine Falcon lays an egg about every other day until she has produced a clutch of three to five eggs.
The nest box is located on a 14th floor ledge of One Capital Center, 10th and Main streets, which mimics the high, steep cliffs the falcons use in the wild. From this lofty perch, the falcons, which strictly eat other birds, can prey on a plentiful supply of pigeons, mourning doves, starlings and other birds. The nest box has been used each spring since 2003.
The web camera is sponsored by The Peregrine Fund, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and Fiberpipe Data Centers.
After all the eggs are laid, both the male and female will incubate them for about a month. After the eggs hatch, the chicks will remain in the nest and be cared for by both parents for six to seven weeks before taking their first flight. The young birds stay in the downtown area for several more weeks to hone their flying and hunting skills under the watchful eyes of their parents before becoming independent.
Once an endangered species, the Peregrine Falcon was restored through the release of captive-bred young by The Peregrine Fund. The population had been decimated by DDT, a pesticide that thinned the eggshells of many types of raptors, including the Bald Eagle. The Peregrine Falcon was removed from the Endangered Species List in 1999 but population numbers continue to be monitored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and individual states.
The Peregrine Falcon was removed from Idaho’s list of endangered species in 2009 on the 10thanniversary of the federal delisting. Like all birds of prey, the falcons remain fully protected by state and federal law.
Peregrine Falcons were essentially gone from Idaho by 1974. Starting in 1982, captive-bred falcons were released into the wild in Idaho and nearby states. Eight falcons were released in downtown Boise in 1988 and 1989. Today, there are about two dozen breeding pairs scattered around the state.
Did you know?
- Nest: Falcons do not build nests. Eggs are laid and incubated in a “scrape,” a depression in the gravel that the falcons build by pushing the gravel out behind them with their legs.
- Pairs: Peregrine Falcons generally keep the same mate from year to year, but if one dies, the surviving bird will seek another.
- Eggs: A typical clutch is 3 to 4 eggs, which are incubated for 32 to 35 days. The parents will use their beaks to roll and shift the eggs periodically during incubation. The male assists by sitting on the eggs while the female leaves to eat. The eggs will not hatch if they are infertile or the young dies during incubation.
- Chicks: Called an eyas, a chick stays warm under its parent during the brooding period. Chicks are fed by both parents, who make sure each chick receives enough to eat. They are in the nest for six to seven weeks.
- Fledging: Chicks prepare to leave the nest by flapping their wings in the nest, then taking short test flights. For about six weeks, they continue to be fed by their parents while honing their flying and hunting skills before striking out on their own.
For more information, contact:
Director of Global Engagement
Main Phone: 208-362-3716
Direct Phone: 208-362-8277