A newly hatched falcon chick appeared Thursday afternoon, May 23, in the nest resting on an outdoor ledge 30-floors high at the Commerce Tower skyscraper. The falcon family can be watched on live streaming video at http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/wildlife-cameras/kansas-city-falcon-web-camera.
The newborn likely weighs only a few ounces and measures only a few inches tall. But if all goes well, someday it will be far larger and able to dive at speeds more than 200 mph.
Three other eggs are still in the nest. Biologists do not know yet whether they will hatch, too.
Kudos are extended to the female falcon that patiently incubated the eggs hour after hour on the nest during this spring’s snow, rain, wind and unseasonably cool temperatures. Both mother and father appear to be doing well.
In fact, at 4 p.m. on Thursday, a falcon that appears to be the male arrived at the nest bearing some type of small critter preyed upon for food. The adults appeared to feed the chick. The female then left the nest, presumably to hunt or exercise. Shortly after she returned and began the shelter the chick with her body. So be patient and check back often if you tune in to view the young one.
This is the first year webcam viewing of the nest at Commerce Tower has been made available to the public by the Missouri Department of Conservation in partnership with NAI Capital Realty, which manages the building.
The nest at Commerce Tower is MDC’s oldest and most productive site in Missouri for peregrine falcon restoration efforts in cities. The falcons originally nested on cliffs along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. They are considered endangered in Missouri. But conservation efforts utilizing big-city buildings as substitutes for cliffs are helping to sustain falcons in the state.
More than 30 young falcons have fledged or flown from the ledge since restoration efforts began there in 1991. MDC staff monitors four other nests in the Kansas City area. But Commerce Tower is the only site in the metro area with a web camera.
For more information on falcons, go to mdc.mo.gov.
Image courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation