Peregrine Falcons Nesting Atop UMass Amherst
Did you know that UMass Amherst’s W.E.B. Du Bois Library is home to a pair of Peregrine falcons? You might think that’s an odd place to live, but Peregrines love to nest on tall buildings! The nest box was installed in 2003 on top of the Library and has drawn the once-federally endangered Peregrine falcons to the Library each year since then.
Thanks to MassWildlife, families can watch these birds of prey in action by viewing their twenty-four hour live webcam. Kids can learn about animal behavior by watching the chicks hatch, fledge and fly. Viewers may even get to see the eyases (that’s what they call a baby Peregrine falcon) take their first flight!
This exciting event lasts from March until June each year and is completely free to view from your home computer or mobile device. Live images of the falcons brooding their eggs and caring for their hatchlings can be viewed at library.umass.edu/falcons (or by clicking on the Falcon Cam button on the Library’s web page: library.umass.edu) with support for both iOS and Android mobile devices.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Move over cheetah! Peregrine falcons are considered the fastest animals in the world? Read this article published by Smithsonian Magazine, The World’s Fastest Animal Takes New York.
- Peregrine falcons are the more widespread raptor throughout the world.
- Feeding almost exclusively on medium-sized birds, Peregrine falcons will eat waterfowl, songbirds, doves and pigeons.
- Peregrine falcons live largely along coastlines, mountain ranges and river valleys… and cities (thanks to tall buildings & pigeons!).
- The life span of a Peregrine falcon is 15.5 years in the wild.
- A pair of Peregrine falcons will mate for life and return to the same nesting spot each year.