News release: Peregrine falcon eggs visible on DNR FalconCam

April 15, 2024

Falcon pair prepared nest for brood 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said a pair of peregrine falcons has an active nest and is tending eggs on the popular DNR FalconCam.

This spring, the webcam has captured this pair of falcons demonstrating courtship displays and creating a nest in the gravel. Their first egg could be seen April 11 and the second egg April 13.  Falcons typically lay eggs in 48-72 hour intervals.  

A peregrine falcon clutch can contain anywhere from two to five eggs, with four being more common in the midwestern U.S. While the number of incubation days can vary, eggs in this nest could start to hatch mid-May. Baby falcons, called eyasses, are lightly covered in whitish down. Eyasses initially have their eyes closed and are relatively helpless. Both male and female adults help incubate the eggs and provide food for their young.  

The FalconCam, located inside a nest box in downtown St. Paul, became the DNR’s first live webcam 13 years ago. Building tenants at Sentinal Properties provide funding for the live camera stream and the building managers oversee the nest box, camera and birds. The webcam provides an intimate view into the life of nesting peregrine falcons each year. 

The two adult falcons using this nest box have been identified by the Midwest Peregrine Society as an 11-year-old female and a 15-year-old male. This female falcon has nested in this box since 2016. The male, banded as a chick in 2009 in Indiana, is a new partner for the female.  

“We hope the FalconCam generates appreciation of this fascinating species of special concern and helps connect Minnesotans to the incredible wildlife around them,” DNR Wildlife Engagement Supervisor Jessica Ruthenberg said.  

The peregrine falcon story is a Minnesota success. In the 1970s, they were on the brink of extinction in North America. Populations were restored with the help of Minnesota falconers, the Midwest Peregrine Society and the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program. Donations from generous Minnesotans on income tax forms helped to fund the peregrine falcon restoration project and the DNR FalconCam.

Since 1987, Minnesotans can choose to “look for the loon” on state tax forms to fund projects like the peregrine and eagle web cameras. Anyone can make a donation for the future of Minnesota’s rare and vulnerable wildlife any time during the year.  

Watch the DNR FalconCam to see the falcons tending their eggs in the nest box and preparing for them to hatch. The FalconCam webpage also has a link to sign up for updates. More about peregrine falcons and the Minnesota restoration project is available on the DNR website.

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