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Monday, March 16, 2009

PENNSYLVANIA FALCON-CAM MAKES SEASONAL DEBUT

Ninth Nesting Season for Harrisburg’s Female Peregrine Falcon
HARRISBURG – A live, 24-hour Web-cast of two Peregrine falcons who nest on a ledge on Pennsylvania’s Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg resumed for the season today.

“The popularity and notoriety of these magnificent creatures grow each year,” said acting Secretary John Hanger. “Through technology, we are able to provide the world with a front-row seat to watch the story of the falcon couple and offspring unfold before our eyes.”

Last year, the department streamlined the Web navigation and provided easier access to the live video feed of the falcons, providing an educational experience for viewers. The site drew more than three million visits from Internet users.

Two cameras stream footage of the falcons via the Web to interested viewers around the world. The video is available on the Department of Environmental Protection’s Web site, www.depweb.state.pa.us. In each of the past three years, the female falcon has laid a “clutch” of five eggs.

The eggs should begin to hatch around Mother’s Day, May 10, and the young falcons, or “eyases,” will begin to take their first flights, or “fledge” around Father’s Day, June 21. This will be the fifth year this pair of falcons has nested at the Rachel Carson building. The female has laid eggs here since 2000 with two different males; the second arrived in Harrisburg in 2005 after the first male was discovered injured the previous year.


Pennsylvania’s Peregrine falcon population has increased since the early 1990s as a direct result of reintroduction efforts such as the one at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. There are now more than two dozen pairs of Peregrine falcons nesting at locations across the state.

While their numbers are improving, Peregrine falcons remain an endangered species in Pennsylvania. In the early 1900s, there were about 350 pairs of nesting Peregrines in the eastern United States. Historically, Peregrine falcons nested on high cliffs overlooking river systems. Records indicate Peregrines once nested at 44 sites in at least 21 counties in Pennsylvania.


To date, the nest at the Rachel Carson State Office Building has produced 39 eggs. Of those, 36 hatched producing 16 males and 19 females (the sex of one of the nestlings hatched in 2008, the runt of the clutch, could not be determined so the nestling was given a female band). Of these, 22 falcons survived—10 males and twelve females. ###

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

GREAT, tax payers dollars to look at birds,wounder how much the cam cost, tell those state employees to get back to work!!!