by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation
Peregrine falcons are once again tending nests in the Kansas City area, and the public can watch one pair tend eggs and raise young online. A web camera is aimed at a nest box atop the American Century Investments office building near the Country Club Plaza. Four other nests are active with nesting falcon pairs, Joe Debold, urban wildlife biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) said.
“All nests have eggs and incubation is occurring,” DeBold said. “They should hatch in mid-May.”
Besides the American Century site, biologists are monitoring nests in the Kansas City metro area on smokestacks at Evergy’s Iatan and Hawthorn power plants, and on ledges or roofs at Commerce Tower and the offices of Shook, Hardy & Bacon.
Only the American Century site has a nest site web camera streaming live video online this spring.
Peregrine falcons are acrobatic, high-speed fliers. They historically nested on ledges on cliffs or bluffs. An endangered species in Missouri, their numbers have been increased in recent decades thanks to nest boxes placed on high places in urban areas. Peregrine falcon restoration is a partnership between MDC, private businesses, and other conservation partners.
The adult falcons brave wind, rain, cold, sun, and sometimes hot days as they tend nests and eggs in high places. People can watch on the computer in the comfort of home or office.
In early weeks, the adults take turns incubating eggs. They leave to hunt pigeons or other food and often return with food to the nest. Then the day arrives when the eggs hatch and the fuzzy baby falcons emerge.
Parents come and go with food for them. Finally, it is surprising to see how fast the young grow and mature. They fledge or leave the nest in summer.
To watch a falcon pair tend eggs and then raise young at the American Century building, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zny.
For more information about peregrine falcons in Missouri, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZqA.
People can watch peregrine falcon pairs incubate eggs and feed newly hatched chicks via a web camera streaming video from a nest on a ledge at American Century Investments in Kansas City. These falcons hatched in earlier years.
Photo by Debra Burns, Missouri Department of Conservation