Utica Peregrine falcons have first hatch of the season

At approximately 1:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 9, the first Peregrine falcon chick of the 2017 season hatched at the downtown Utica nest site. A second egg hatched at approximately 11:25 a.m.

There are two more eggs in the nest, which are likely to hatch in the next few days.

The Utica Peregrine Falcon Project, which monitors the progress of the Utica nest via web cameras, predicted Tuesday’s hatch based on when the parent birds began incubating the eggs. A further indication that May 9 would be the hatch day came late Monday morning when a hole appeared in one of the eggs. The hole, called a “pip,” was created by the chick within the egg when it used its egg tooth to break through the eggshell.

By noon on Monday, calls began to be heard from the chick within the pipped egg and a second egg in the nest had developed a pip.

This season the first egg was laid in the nest box on April 1st and incubation of the clutch began on April 6th. Peregrine Falcon eggs typically hatch after 28 – 33 days of incubation. Based on past experiences with Utica’s resident pair of falcons (named Astrid & Ares), it was predicted that the eggs would start hatching at 32 -33 days. Assuming all proceeds normally with the nesting, the UPFP will be soliciting the public’s help in naming the chicks. The naming contest will be announced by UPFP later in the month.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Astrid and Ares have produced young in Utica.  In 2014 this pair became the first of their species ever known to successfully raise young in Utica or Oneida County. Peregrine Falcons remain listed as an Endangered Species in New York State. Back in 2013, in an effort to assist in the falcons’ recovery, a specially designed nest box was installed on the 15th floor of the Adirondack Bank Building in Downtown Utica. The Utica Peregrine Falcon Project was formed to safeguard and monitor the birds and their nest site. There are currently over 70 pairs of Peregrines known to be nesting in New York State. About half of those nests are in cities. Updates on what is occurring with the falcons as well as Streaming video from the Utica nest site is available from the UPFP’s website: uticaperegrinefalcons.com. May 19, 2017, link to Astrid feeding the new falcon chick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_p5kJHo5eE

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