They’re back! Peregrine falcons are laying eggs and preparing to rear young, and people who enjoy watching wildlife can see them online. The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) falcon restoration program and partners are providing live views of two nests in the Kansas City area via internet links.
The falcons that are viewable online began tending eggs in recent days at the American Century Investments building and at the Iatan Power Plant, said Joe DeBold, MDC urban wildlife biologist. Biologists are also monitoring other falcon nests without cameras.
“Right now we have four pairs in Kansas City that have started laying eggs since this past weekend,” DeBold said.
Peregrine pairs are also active at nests at the Kansas City Power & Light Co.’s Sibley Power Plant and Hawthorne Power Plant. Like the falcons at the company’s Iatan plant near Weston, the pairs are using nest boxes placed high on smokestacks.
DeBold is also monitoring a nest high on a ledge at Commerce Tower in downtown Kansas City. In north-central Missouri, falcons are nesting at a generating plant smokestack at Thomas Hill Reservoir.
Image: Peregrine falcon nests offer a watchable and remarkable example of how wildlife nurtures new generations.
This photo was taken a few years ago at a nest box on a smokestack at the Iatan Power Plant.
Photo by Debra Burns, Missouri Department of Conservation
Placing the nest boxes high on smokestacks and skyscrapers gives the falcons a place to raise young that mimics the high bluffs and cliffs where they originally nested. Peregrine falcons are endangered in Missouri. Their numbers across the United States plummeted after the 1940s when widespread use of the pesticide DDT entered the food chain and hindered reproduction. Falcons began rebounding in numbers after DDT was banned. MDC began reintroducing them in Kansas City in 1991 at Commerce Tower. Downtown residents and workers enjoy watching them, and the falcons provide a service by feeding on birds such as pigeons and starlings.
The falcon cams offer people a chance to watch the falcons tend eggs. If viewed at the right time, they may see the young to hatch and later parents feeding the young. The young will fledge or fly away from the nest in summer.
To watch falcons at the American Century Investments building near the Country Club Plaza, visit http://www.ustream.tv/channel/kansas-city-plaza-falcon-cam. The camera at the Iatan Power Plant is viewable at https://livestream.com/accounts/8268653/events/4871157. For more information about peregrine falcons in Missouri, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZqA.
Content for this post provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation [Website]