Falcon Eggs Expected to Hatch Next Week

Apr 26, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania State environmental
 officials today said the four eggs produced by a pair of peregrine falcons
 nesting on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in
 Harrisburg should hatch sometime next week.
     "Visitors to the falcon webpage will want to pay close attention to the
 nest next week," Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Environmental
 Educator Jack Farster said.  "The four eggs were laid between March 29 and
 April 6.  Generally, they're incubated for about 33 days, and, based on the
 incubation period last year, we think the first hatchling should begin
 `pipping' through its protective shell sometime around May 6."
     Last year, the four eggs produced by the falcons began hatching on May 4.
 After the eggs hatch, visitors to the website can expect to see the female
 eating the shells to clean the nest and to regain calcium.  The adults will
 protect and feed the young "eyases" and later teach them to hunt and survive
 independently.
     The birds' activity can be monitored live via still pictures on the PA
 PowerPort at www.state.pa.us; the DEP website at www.dep.state.pa.us
 (directLINK "falcon"); or through a live video/audio feed on
 www.GreenWorks.tv.  The sites also provide background and history of the
 peregrine falcons, videos, an online photo gallery and links to other falcon
 sites.
     The Harrisburg Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project is a joint effort of the
 Pennsylvania Game Commission, DEP and the Department of Conservation and
 Natural Resources.  In 1996, the state agencies placed a nesting tray on a
 ledge on the 15th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building at 400
 Market St., Harrisburg.  Soon after, a male and female falcon occupied the
 tray.
     After several springs when the female failed to produce eggs, she was
 determined to be a hybrid, and subsequently was removed and placed at the
 Pittsburgh Aviary in 1999.  Within weeks, the male attracted a new female to
 the nesting box and, in March 2000, the pair produced a clutch of four eggs.
 Three of the four fledglings died within the first four weeks after fledging.
 A fourth fledgling survived, eventually leaving the area last fall.  Young
 falcons typically fly as far south as South America, where they remain for the
 winter before returning to North America to mate.
     Peregrine falcons, the world's fastest-flying birds, completely
 disappeared from the Eastern United States by the early 1960s, due primarily
 to DDT contamination.  DDT's ban in 1972, coupled with a substantial
 reintroduction program conducted by the Peregrine Fund and financial support
 provided by the federal Endangered Species Act, paved the way for a strong
 recovery in recent years.  More than 150 peregrine pairs were found nesting in
 the Northeast in 1997, and the number is growing each year.  In 2000, there
 were 10 active nest sites in Pennsylvania.
     Allegheny County resident and scientist Rachel Carson was the first to
 focus public attention on the unrestricted use of DDT and other pesticides in
 her 1962 book "Silent Spring."
     Peregrine falcons historically nested on cliffs in Pennsylvania.  Now,
 they target tall buildings and large bridges.  It is hoped they will
 eventually return to their historic nesting sites.  The male and female falcon
 "pair" in the spring.  Their courtship is marked by special flight patterns,
 and by the male bringing the female food.  The female peregrine lays her eggs
 at two- to three-day intervals, until her clutch has three to five eggs.  She
 shares the duties of incubation with her mate for approximately 33 days.
     While the peregrine falcon has been removed from the federal Endangered
 Species List, it remains on Pennsylvania's list of endangered species until
 additional recovery occurs.
     To view the falcons live on the Internet, visit DEP through the PA
 PowerPort at www.state.pa.us or directly at www.dep.state.pa.us (directLINK
 "Falcon").
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X82128924
 
     CONTACT:  Susan Rickens of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
 Protection, 717-787-1323.
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania State environmental
 officials today said the four eggs produced by a pair of peregrine falcons
 nesting on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in
 Harrisburg should hatch sometime next week.
     "Visitors to the falcon webpage will want to pay close attention to the
 nest next week," Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Environmental
 Educator Jack Farster said.  "The four eggs were laid between March 29 and
 April 6.  Generally, they're incubated for about 33 days, and, based on the
 incubation period last year, we think the first hatchling should begin
 `pipping' through its protective shell sometime around May 6."
     Last year, the four eggs produced by the falcons began hatching on May 4.
 After the eggs hatch, visitors to the website can expect to see the female
 eating the shells to clean the nest and to regain calcium.  The adults will
 protect and feed the young "eyases" and later teach them to hunt and survive
 independently.
     The birds' activity can be monitored live via still pictures on the PA
 PowerPort at www.state.pa.us; the DEP website at www.dep.state.pa.us
 (directLINK "falcon"); or through a live video/audio feed on
 www.GreenWorks.tv.  The sites also provide background and history of the
 peregrine falcons, videos, an online photo gallery and links to other falcon
 sites.
     The Harrisburg Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project is a joint effort of the
 Pennsylvania Game Commission, DEP and the Department of Conservation and
 Natural Resources.  In 1996, the state agencies placed a nesting tray on a
 ledge on the 15th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building at 400
 Market St., Harrisburg.  Soon after, a male and female falcon occupied the
 tray.
     After several springs when the female failed to produce eggs, she was
 determined to be a hybrid, and subsequently was removed and placed at the
 Pittsburgh Aviary in 1999.  Within weeks, the male attracted a new female to
 the nesting box and, in March 2000, the pair produced a clutch of four eggs.
 Three of the four fledglings died within the first four weeks after fledging.
 A fourth fledgling survived, eventually leaving the area last fall.  Young
 falcons typically fly as far south as South America, where they remain for the
 winter before returning to North America to mate.
     Peregrine falcons, the world's fastest-flying birds, completely
 disappeared from the Eastern United States by the early 1960s, due primarily
 to DDT contamination.  DDT's ban in 1972, coupled with a substantial
 reintroduction program conducted by the Peregrine Fund and financial support
 provided by the federal Endangered Species Act, paved the way for a strong
 recovery in recent years.  More than 150 peregrine pairs were found nesting in
 the Northeast in 1997, and the number is growing each year.  In 2000, there
 were 10 active nest sites in Pennsylvania.
     Allegheny County resident and scientist Rachel Carson was the first to
 focus public attention on the unrestricted use of DDT and other pesticides in
 her 1962 book "Silent Spring."
     Peregrine falcons historically nested on cliffs in Pennsylvania.  Now,
 they target tall buildings and large bridges.  It is hoped they will
 eventually return to their historic nesting sites.  The male and female falcon
 "pair" in the spring.  Their courtship is marked by special flight patterns,
 and by the male bringing the female food.  The female peregrine lays her eggs
 at two- to three-day intervals, until her clutch has three to five eggs.  She
 shares the duties of incubation with her mate for approximately 33 days.
     While the peregrine falcon has been removed from the federal Endangered
 Species List, it remains on Pennsylvania's list of endangered species until
 additional recovery occurs.
     To view the falcons live on the Internet, visit DEP through the PA
 PowerPort at www.state.pa.us or directly at www.dep.state.pa.us (directLINK
 "Falcon").
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X82128924
 
     CONTACT:  Susan Rickens of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
 Protection, 717-787-1323.
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection