Spring has arrived on the b-b-balmy shores of Lake Ontario, and the local fauna and flora have gotten down to doing what they do best – making more fauna and flora. It may be that your geeklets aren’t ready for the "birds and the bees" talk (or is it the "circle of life" talk? I can never remember), but watching a new family of peregrine falcons from the beginning until the young ones are grown is exciting, educational, and downright fun when it involves web cameras.
The Rochester Falcon Cam is a web site that has followed a pair of falcons who nest every spring on the side of the Kodak headquarters building in Rochester, New York, since 1998. The family antics of the female Mariah, her mate Kaver, and her previous mate Cabot-Sirocco have been watched, recorded, and broadcast to the public thanks to a number of volunteers and the generosity of Kodak.
Mariah and Kaver have generated some buzz this week as their current clutch of eggs are hatching. As far as I have been able to see, there are three hatchlings so far and another two eggs to go. Mom and Dad take turns protecting the babies from our typical Rochester spring weather, but now and then when they go hunting for pigeons together you can see the little ones in the nest. If you’re very lucky (or if you click your way to the image archives) you can see a hungry little beak open to the air, calling for food.
Now would be a very good time to peek in on the new family, because little peregrines grow up fast. According to the site’s "Falcon Lifecycle" article, they are nearly fully grown at six weeks.
Now be honest – isn’t this better than reality television?
(Photo by Mark Nash, Canadian Peregrine Foundation)