Webcam captures the moment falcon chicks hatch on top of Melbourne high-rise

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Webcam watchers await CBD falcon hatching after last year's heartbreak

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Melbourne 3000
ABC Radio Melbourne

By Nicole Mills

Updated

October 03, 2018 13:05:37

Video: Peregrine falcons on high-rise hatch

(ABC News)
(Facebook: Ronan Reid) “We have had trouble previously with the adults catching pigeons that have been incapacitated by bird deterrent-type chemicals that are used to try to eradicate feral pigeons from factories or industrial sites,” he said.”The peregrines feed almost exclusively on other birds, so they see this pigeon lame and they pick it up and it’s covered in this fairly caustic gel which the peregrines then ingest themselves.”Why do falcons nest on skyscrapers?Peregrine falcons have been nesting at the Collins Street building since 1991, due to its ledged design and south-east-facing direction which attracts the morning sun but not the baking afternoon heat.Prior to volunteers installing a nest box, the falcons laid their eggs in the building’s gutter, but the running water chilled them and they failed to hatch.Now the water travels underneath the nest box, giving them a better chance of survival.While they are excellent hunters, none of the falcon species know how to build a nest themselves.Instead they lay eggs on natural ledges in buildings or cliffs or occupy other birds’ nests.The owners of 367 Collins Street introduced a webcam in 2016 to stream the day-to-day lives of the falcons online.On the ABC Melbourne Facebook page, Robin Gauld said the stream was “exciting”.”I waited for an hour this afternoon to see the chicks,” she said. (Facebook: Venetia Pereira)
“It’s great that we have so many more people involved and excited this year,” Mr Stillard said. Birdlife Australia volunteer Dr Victor Hurley said it was likely due to the chicks being fed a poisoned pigeon. Three fluffy white chicks emerged from their eggs on Tuesday; a fourth egg has not yet hatched.Leigh Stillard established the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers Facebook group which has grown to more than 1,300 members.He said the online community was thrilled to see the new chicks hatch. External Link:

Facebook: The three falcon chicks have hatched
The two chicks that hatched last spring were growing well, being brought food caught by their parents, but sadly both died before they were able to fledge the nest. “Seeing the chicks hatch was great. Photo:
The chick did manage to get back to its feet after this bout of sibling rivalry. Photo:
Three of the four peregrine falcon eggs have hatched. “It’s great that we can see more about the lives of urban wild animals, even if it’s through a web browser.”The group’s members have been posting regular updates on the birds’ behaviour, including one of the parents attempting to feed one of the chicks which was looking the other way, tapping it on the head with their beak to get its attention. I hope it inspires more people to study ecology and get involved.”Good news after last year’s tragedyThe baby birds are happy news for the growing community of online birdwatchers who are eyeing the three chicks’ development particularly closely after witnessing last year’s heartbreak. “You start to feel nervous as the start of October approaches and you’re expecting a hatch day and hoping nothing goes wrong,” he said. There were also reports of sibling rivalry, including a photo of one of the birds being knocked flat on its back and struggling to get back to its feet in the jostle for food. The hearts of armchair birdwatchers are aflutter after the hatching of three peregrine falcon chicks was streamed via webcam from a nest atop a Melbourne skyscraper.