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Falcon Wire News

2017
11/28/2017  ::   New Male Observed on Ledge
A new male peregrine has been visiting the nest ledge since last Friday. This bird is banded, band code 38/S, and appears to be larger and younger than the resident male. The new male was banded in 2010 on the McElhatten Bridge in Clinton County and visited the ledge in January.

The fourteen-year old resident male has a black over red striped leg band with "W/V" on it. He was last observed on Sunday, November 19th on the ledge. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings, photos and interactions would be of great value in determining what we can expect for the 2018 nesting season. Please email to ra-epfalcon@pa.gov .

9/8/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The rehabilitator and the veterinarian determined that the Blue-banded falcon will never fully develop, including the liver. These anomalies most likely occurred while this bird was still developing in its egg. Therefore, Blue cannot be released into the wild. At this point, the rehabilitator is in the process of locating a suitable home where the falcon can be used for educational purposes.
8/1/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The blue-banded falcon remains at the wildlife rehabilitation center. The falcon is flying well, but still undersized. "Blue" will be having additional x-rays to examine the falcon's liver development. At this point, it appears that "Blue" may become an educator's bird supporting endangered species outreach programs.
7/28/2017  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male stays in the area most of the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/22/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Today, the rehabilitator provided an update on "Blue", the young falcon that has yet to fledge. An X-ray was done and indicated that this bird's liver is underdeveloped. This may be the reason why it was so far behind in developing its flight feathers. At this point, releasing this young falcon at the Rachel Carson State Office Building is highly unlikely. Actually, there's no guarantee "Blue" will survive in captivity. Treatment with antibiotics is progressing well but only time and close monitoring will tell. "Blue" is scheduled for another X-ray in two months. If the liver issue stabilizes, then consideration will be given to "Blue's" future.
6/15/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Yesterday, the blue-banded falcon received an x-ray, and it was discovered the male has an underdeveloped liver, which may explain the slow growth and feather development. At this point, the final prognosis is unclear, the current plan is to continue observation to see if "Blue" can be returned to the wild or remain in captivity as an education bird.
6/14/2017  ::   Update on Blue-Banded Male Falcon
During a subsequent flight yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded male had a possible collision with a nearby building. The young falcon became grounded and was rescued. He currently is recovering at the Red Creek Wildlife Center.
6/13/2017  ::   Blue-Banded Male Released!
Today around 11 a.m., the blue-banded male returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the building's roof. He took off immediately flying exceptionally well. The adult falcons will bring the young male food and will teach flying and hunting skills.

Both "red" and "white" are spending more time in the air getting advanced flight and hunting lessons from the adults. The adults are teaching them to dive by doing food drops.

After fledging, the falcon juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. But, as their flying and hunting skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.

5/30/2017  ::   More Fledges!
The white-banded falcon fledged around 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 27th and is flying successfully.

Around 9:30 a.m. on May 27th, the blue-banded male fledged and collided with nearby buildings. The young male landed in the street and was subsequently rescued by the falcon watch and rescue volunteers. The volunteers transported "blue" to a nearby wildlife rehabilitator, and it is recovering from a concussion. Today's report from the rehabilitator suggests it will likely recover and may be returned to the building sometime soon.

White and red both are flying well and can be observed flying between taking short flights near the Rachel Carson State Office Building and receiving hunting lessons from the adults.

5/26/2017  ::   First Fledges!
Around 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 25th, the blue-banded male took an accidental first flight landing on the roof of a nearby building. On Friday morning, May 26th, the Environmental Education Center staff and interns recovered "Blue" and placed him on the nest ledge.

Around 11 a.m., the red-banded male took his first flight, successfully landing on the nearby Harrisburg University Building and other nearby buildings. Observers have reported that "Red" is flying well.

5/16/2017  ::   Banding Results
On May 10th, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one nestling of undetermined sex. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The first male weighed in at 585 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band the other male that weighed 595 grams; and white tape on the 585 gram nestling of undetermined sex. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
4/18/2017  ::   Three Nestlings!
Around 9:30 this morning, the second chick hatched out. Then, around 12:30 p.m., the third hatchling emerged. Because these three nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge.
4/17/2017  ::   First Hatch!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:00 p.m., the first egg hatched. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the second hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
4/4/2017  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Over the weekend, a small hole was observed one of the four eggs. The adult falcons are no longer incubating it, as it was pushed aside. This egg isn't viable, and it won't hatch. While disappointing, this is not unusual. If it is still intact during banding, the Pennsylvania Game Commission biologists will collect it for pesticide analysis.
3/15/2017  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 12th and the fourth egg this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure.
3/10/2017  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 12:25 p.m. today. The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on the ledge and nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/8/2017  ::   First Egg!
At around 8:16 a.m. today, March 8th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.

1/25/2017  ::   Breaking News From the Nest Ledge!
Since January 11th, a new male peregrine, band code 38/S, has been visiting the nest ledge and observed pair bonding with the resident female. This apparently larger bird was banded in 2010 on the McElhattan Bridge in Clinton County near Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The nearly 14 year-old resident male, band code W/V, was spotted back on the ledge yesterday. The male at this nest site often leaves the area for a week or two and then return when breeding activity typically resumes.

This morning, an unbanded female arrived on the ledge. Based upon observations from staff, there may have been a territorial battle between the females this morning. The resident female was later observed on the ledge, and so far, there are no reports of the unbanded female. It's possible that the challenger may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what to expect for the 2017 nesting season.

2016
10/5/2016  ::   Window Washing
Today, window washers will be cleaning the windows on the front side of the Rachel Carson Building. As an endangered species, building maintenance must be scheduled outside of the breeding season to avoid any disturbances to the nest.
7/29/2016  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The last report of the red-banded female was on June 28th, where she was observed eating on a nearby building and flying in the area. As far as we know she may be okay as no news is good news. The other fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male now stays in the area throughout the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/30/2016  ::   Red - Injured?
The red-banded female may have sustained injuries late last week. The beak and one eye may be injured. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. Any falcon cam watcher who observes red eating should email the date and time of feeding along with a photo, if possible, to ra-epfalcon@pa.gov. She has red tape over a silver leg band on her right leg and a black and green band, 83/BR, on her left leg.
6/13/2016  ::   Fledge Update
The three fledglings likely will remain in the area for another four to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, flight and hunting lessons, leading to their complete independence. While viewers can still watch some activity at the ledge, it will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor making longer and longer flights.
6/3/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Released!
Yesterday around noon, the red-banded female returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the 15th floor ledge. Today around 2 p.m., she took her first flight and seems to be doing well.

Both males are flying extremely well and learning advanced flight and hunting techniques, including the spectacular dive, called a stoop, where peregrines can reach speeds of more than 200 mph!

6/1/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Update - No Fractures!
Good news! The red-banded female, who was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center on Friday, does not have any fractures. She is flying in the flight cage among perches building strength. As long as she's fully recovered, she may be released onto the building later this week. The wildlife rehabilitator noted that red is very aggressive, an important survival characteristic for this wild peregrine's success.
5/31/2016  ::   News about Red-Banded Female and Fledging Update
On Friday, May 27th, an officer from the Harrisburg Police Department retrieved a grounded red-banded female. She was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center for examination and treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the building. We'll keep the viewers updated about her progress.

Both males are flying well and are receiving flight lessons from the adults. Soon they will start learning to hunt.

5/25/2016  ::   Fledging Update
On Monday, May 23rd, the white-banded male made the first flight around 3 p.m. He landed on the roof of the nearby train station. He was later rescued, examined and released to the roof. Yesterday, the blue-banded male fledged and safely landed on a lower roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
5/4/2016  ::   Banding Results
Yesterday, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one female. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The female weighed in at 715 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 535 gram male; white tape on another 535 gram male. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 23rd.
4/19/2016  ::   Update on the Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, the fourth egg did not hatch, and at this point, it is highly unlikely that it will. While this is discouraging, it is normal. However, the other three nestlings all seem to be feeding, growing and doing well!
4/18/2016  ::   Three Nestlings!
On Friday evening, the third nestling emerged around 7:30 p.m.

The fourth egg hasn't hatched, and at this point, it is unlikely that it will. While discouraging, this is normal. That said in past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see. The other three young falcons, called eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!

4/15/2016  ::   Eggs Hatching!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:10 p.m., the first egg hatched. Sometime overnight, the second egg hatched as well. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the third hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/29/2016  ::   Nest Box Update
The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days, so we can expect the first egg to hatch around mid-April. The male has been hunting regularly for both falcons and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/14/2016  ::   Fourth Egg!
On Saturday around 10 a.m., the fourth egg arrived!
3/10/2016  ::   Third Egg!
Early this morning before dawn, the female laid the third egg! We should start to see the female doing more incubation. Last year, the female laid four eggs, so we'll have to wait a day or two to see if she lays another egg.
3/8/2016  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg before dawn this morning! The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/7/2016  ::   First Egg!
At around 7:11 a.m. on Saturday, March 5th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the nest meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The camera angles now are set for close views into the scrape.

2/24/2016  ::   2016 Nesting Season Update
The adults have renewed their pair bond and are spending more time together at the nest ledge. Viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior and breeding activity. This courtship behavior includes vocal interactions, hunting skills, food offerings and spectacular displays of flight. The male does these acts seemingly to demonstrate his ability to be a good provider. The first egg should arrive around mid-March.

The male is entering his 13th year. He fledged from the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003. The nearly 7 year old female fledged from the PA/NJ Turnpike Bridge in Bucks County in 2009.

For more information, photos and updates, be sure to follow the falcons on Twitter and Instagram @falconchatter or on Flickr at falconchatter.

2/12/2016  ::   Live Feed of Harrisburg's Famous Peregrine Falcons Returns Just in Time for Valentine's Day
Love is in the air in Harrisburg as the city's famous pair of peregrine falcons have returned to their nest on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building just in time for Valentine's Day. To celebrate, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today launched a redesigned falcon website that features a high definition, three-camera live video feed of the nest that will now be streamed year-round. The site also provides more opportunities for people to interact through social media.

Valentine's Day is typically the time when the falcons renew their courtship behavior. The male will offer food to the female and put on a spectacular display of flight and hunting skills, all to impress her and prove his ability to be a good provider. There also is some vocal interaction at the nest.

"Providing a live feed of the peregrine falcons has helped to teach a generation of Pennsylvania school students and the public about the connection between wildlife and our environment," DEP Secretary John Quigley said. "It underscores the effects we humans have on the natural world and how we can all be better stewards."

The redesigned falcon website includes new interactive features like Instagram and Flickr where users can upload their own wildlife photos and even retweet a falcon valentine on Twitter. Visitors can learn about the falcons' history in Harrisburg, view a calendar of seasonal activity and link to other bird cams from around the state. The live video will now be streamed year-round instead of ending in June. Favorite website features like information and lesson plans for teachers and the Falcon Wire are still available.

The 13-year old male falcon has occupied the nest site at the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years. This is considered old for a wild peregrine, so at some point, a new male may challenge him for the nest site. The seven-year-old female is entering her fourth year at this nest site.

If their courtship is successful, the first of several eggs should arrive around mid-March. The first egg of 2015 arrived March 16. Since 2000, 58 of the 69 eggs produced at the nest have hatched. Thirty-four were females, and 23 males (in 2008, the sex of one of the young falcons could not be determined). The eggs typically hatch in mid-May and the young falcons take their first flights in June.

"This nest site in Harrisburg is one of the most productive ones in the state and its success is due in large part to our online community" Quigley said. "We thank our wonderful volunteers who look out for the young falcons when they're learning to fly, and our online viewers around the globe who keep tabs on their every move!"

To view the new website and video feed, visit DEP's website at www.dep.pa.gov/falcon.

2015
6/26/2015  ::   Streaming Video Time Extended
The streaming video will now end Tuesday, June 30th.
6/25/2015  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
The juveniles are spending more time in the air, getting flight and hunting lessons from the adults. This means they're spending less time at the ledge. The live stream feed will end tomorrow, June 26th. The still image capture is available year-round from the DEP Falcon Page.
6/4/2015  ::   Update from the Ledge!
This week, Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers and staff have been continuously watching the three female fledglings making flights around the city. The white-banded female has been flying successfully today after spending yesterday on a small ledge near the Capitol.

Unfortunately, late yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female died after flying into a window. There are a lot of hazards for the young falcons at urban nest sites including window strikes.

The red-banded female took her first flight early this morning and landed on a low roof on the Rachel Carson Building. She attempted to make another flight but landed on the ground near the main entrance. The DEP staff and interns rescued, examined and released her onto the roof of the building.

6/1/2015  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female fledged prematurely. She was rescued, examined and placed on the roof of the building. She's been getting regular feedings from the adults. Soon, she'll take flight intentionally and gaining strength and flying skills, will return to the nest ledge.
5/21/2015  ::   Banding Results:
All three nestlings have been determined to be females. They are all in good health. Each has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The largest of the three weighed in at 900 grams and has a white tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 855 gram female; red tape on an 850 gram female. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
5/19/2015  ::   Peregrine Falcon Banding Event!
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM on Thursday, May 21 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be a live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 130 students and teachers will be in attendance. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/27/2015  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, over the weekend, the fourth egg did not completely hatch. At this point, it is unlikely that this hatchling will emerge. While this is discouraging, it is normal. The other eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!
4/23/2015  ::   Three!
Early this morning, the third hatchling was discovered in the nest. All three have taken food from the adult female as of 9:30 AM.
4/22/2015  ::   First Hatch of the Season!
We have two hatchlings! One arrived late yesterday afternoon, April 21st; the second, sometime overnight, ushering in Earth Day 2015!
3/23/2015  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 19th and the fourth egg over the weekend on March 21st. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/17/2015  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 7 p.m. last night!
3/16/2015  ::   First Egg!
At around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape!

The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

3/12/2015  ::   When Will It Happen?
Falcon viewers are in the proverbial waiting room, in anticipation of the big event! Last year, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, the first egg was laid on March 12th. This female, being consistently reliable, should deliver the first egg of the season very soon. Stay tuned as the excitement builds!
3/3/2015  ::   Streaming Video Available
An upgraded version of video streaming is now online and accessibly to falcon viewers. The new sharper images provide an intimate view into the courtship and pre-nesting behavior of the adult peregrine falcon pair here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. Stay tuned as the first egg is expected the second week in March.
2/17/2015  ::   Streaming Video Date Set
The live stream webcasting begins March 2nd.

The adult peregrines have renewed their pair bond. They are spending more time together at the nest ledge and web viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior. The male is providing food offerings to the female, exhibiting his ability to be a strong provider. The female will increase her hunting and feeding activities in advance of nesting activities. Egg production and viability is directly related to nutrition levels in the female.

2/3/2015  ::   Outlook For 2015 Nesting Season
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. By the end of February, the male typically makes food offerings to the female and breeding activity heightens. Live stream webcasting at the ledge is tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, March 2nd.
2014
8/8/2014  ::   Update on Juveniles
The adults have returned to the ledge periodically over the past several weeks. This is an indication that they are no longer flying with the fledges and that our young juvenile peregrines have become independent. Chances are, they have already arrived in one of our great flyways, where they'll be sustained by soon to occur mass migrations. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Falcon Telemetry page from the DEP Falcon Page.
7/2/2014  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
On Friday, July 4th the streaming video will be discontinued for the 2014 season. DEP staff plan to offer streaming video for the 2015 nesting season beginning the first week in February 2015.
6/10/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The morning of Saturday, June 7th the black-banded male was discovered dead on a low roof below the nest ledge. This fledgling impacted some portion of the building, likely a window or skylight. These hazards have been a significant mortality factor over the past 15 years and are typical of urban nest sites.



The other three fledges are doing well, getting flight lessons from the adults. This includes in-flight food transfers providing them with the challenge of attaining food with reliance on their own flight skills.

6/5/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The red-banded female was rescued from a glass enclosed balcony yesterday afternoon and released from the roof of the building. All four of the fledges are now flying to and from nearby buildings. Soon, they'll get advanced flight lessons from the adults.
6/3/2014  ::   What's Next?
The fledglings will remain in the area for 4 to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, then flight and hunting lessons, leading to complete independence. Activity at the ledge will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor, the habitat type that lead breeding adults to this location over 15 years ago.
6/3/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
All four of the eyases have taken their first flight. Early this morning, the red-banded female attempted her first airborne adventure. An adventure it was too; she landed on the sidewalk in front of the building where she was promptly rescued and placed on top of the building. The 2014 Rachel Carson brood of four are now referred as fledglings. This is one of the most critical times in their young lives. The highest mortality at a nest site occurs within the first week of fledging. Watch and rescue crews have proven once again that this annual vigil is well worth the time and effort involved to safeguard this endangered raptor.
5/30/2014  ::   Fledging Update
Early this morning, the green-banded male made his first flight landing on a lower ledge of the Rachel Carson Building. After a few more short flights, the male landed on the Aberdeen Street sidewalk. He's was rescued, examined and released onto the building's roof.



The black-banded male made some short flights and now is on a ledge of the neighboring Harrisburg University Building.



The Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers are keeping a close eye on the young fledges.

5/29/2014  ::   Eyases Nearly Ready to Take Flight!
At 6:15 PM last evening, May 28th the black-banded male eyas fledged prematurely, catching a gust of wind while wing-flapping at the edge of the nest ledge. He was rescued by afterhours watch and rescue volunteers and taken to the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. This eyas and his siblings are not quite ready to fledge on their own yet but will be within several days. At this point in their young lives, they are most vulnerable and watch and rescue activities can play a key role in their survival.
5/15/2014  ::   Banding Results
Based on Game Commission banding results, we have two female and two male eyases in this years' brood. All four were examined and appear to be in good health.



Why do we band peregrine falcons?



Biologists place an alphanumeric metal band around the left leg each of the eyases with a falcon-specific code. The band code will be used by wildlife officials to monitor the birds once they leave the nest. In addition, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife band is placed on the eyases' right leg registering each on a federal banding database.



Band code reporting can inform wildlife managers as to how far peregrines migrate, where they establish breeding territory, over-wintering behavior, how long they live and causes of mortality.



Here are some outcomes revealed by banding efforts at the RCSOB:



The original breeding adult female appeared at the Rachel Carson State Office Building (RCSOB) in 1999. She was identified by her band code. By viewing the number on the band on her leg (4/4), officials were able to trace her origin to a nest on the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia. She was banded in 1998. She was the first falcon produced on a bridge in Pennsylvania to be rediscovered at a nest site.



The original male was not banded so his origin and age were unknown. This male was injured in 2003 and wildlife managers deemed him unable to survive in the wild so reuniting him with 4/4 was not an option. After five weeks the female seemed resigned to the fact that he would not return. She bonded with another male. This male was banded on the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003.



Several of Rachel Carson's young falcons have reportedly been nesting in Ohio, Delaware and other locations in Pennsylvania. While their numbers are increasing, the Pennsylvania Game Commission still lists the peregrine falcons as an endangered species in the Commonwealth.

4/28/2014  ::   Young Peregrines Demand More Food
The adults are both actively hunting. The eyases are growing so rapidly that both of the adults must provide as much food as possible. They visit the nest site often to check on the eyases but only briefly and usually off-camera. All is well with the falcon family.
4/22/2014  ::   Fourth Egg Hatches!
Sometime overnight or early this morning, the last of the falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to four!
4/21/2014  ::   Three Nestings!
Yesterday, 4/20, three of the four eggs hatched!

For the last egg, look for white spots on it, which is an indication that the last hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.

4/17/2014  ::   First Hatch Soon
Based on the timing from the nesting season last year, we should expect the first hatch within a day or two. The female will move off the eggs occasionally for the male to take some incubation duties and to rotate the eggs. As this activity is happening we may see signs of pipping, or breaking out of the shell by a hatchling.
4/8/2014  ::   Update From the Nest Box
We can expect the first egg to hatch around the 20th of April. This female has been consistent within her reproductive cycle. The male has been hunting regularly and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/19/2014  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the fourth egg around 9:30 a.m. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/18/2014  ::   Three Eggs!
The female laid the second egg on Saturday, March 15th and the third on Monday, March 17th!
3/13/2014  ::   First Egg!
At around 5 p.m. yesterday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
3/10/2014  ::   First Egg Expected Soon!
We can expect the first egg to be laid sometime this week. The best estimate, based on last year's timeline, would be Wednesday or Thursday. The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She rotates her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/11/2014  ::   Live Streaming Begins Friday
This Friday, February 14th, three HD cameras will begin to chronicle activities at the nest ledge. The breeding pair at the Rachel Carson State Office Building fittingly renew their pair-bond around Valentine's Day annually.
2013
10/3/2013  ::   Still Image View
Due to system maintenence, there will be only one view at the ledge for the time being.
7/22/2013  ::   Video Streaming Ends/What's Next for the Juveniles?
The live stream video has ended for the 2013 season. The still image capture will be available year-round.



The juveniles have become confident in their flying and hunting abilities and will soon leave the area.

In the past, Rachel's young falcons have traveled hundreds of miles in all directions. They'll likely spend the fall near a migration corridor, often along the Eastern Seaboard, where the food supply is abundant. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Peregrine Falcon page and click on the Satellite Telemetry button. These pages chronicle the movements of two juveniles affixed with satellite transmitters before dispersing from the Rachel Carson nest in 2002.

6/28/2013  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
All four of the Peregrine Falcon juveniles are flying confidently and honing their hunting skills. They have been spending less time at the ledge so as to become more independent. At times they return for rest, at nightfall, for protection from the elements, or if they are hungry and have had an unsuccessful hunt. After fledging, juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. The adult falcons participate in their young's practice of flying and hunting, bringing them food if they have not been able to hunt their own, and even doing food drops to teach them how to dive. After these skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.
6/10/2013  ::   Fledge/Rescue Summary
The young male (yellow band) was the first to fledge, the morning of May 31st. The morning of June 1st, the largest of the brood (red band) fledged. It was a busy season for the watch and rescue crews as six rescues were undertaken. All four fledges are flying strong at this point. The adults have been observed with the juveniles delivering food in flight and giving advanced flying lessons.
6/5/2013  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledges were at the ledge this morning. They have since been seen at various perches around the city. Milk crates were placed inside the 16th floor balcony in case they land inside again and get trapped, they can hop out to the railing.
6/3/2013  ::   Blue Banded Female Released
The blue-banded female was returned onto the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building after being released from the wildlife rehabilitator around 11 a.m. The female has taken a few short flights to the nearby buildings and is doing okay. She was rescued by the Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteer crew on Saturday, June 1st.
6/3/2013  ::   All falcons fledged
On the morning of Friday, May 31st, the yellow-banded male was the first fledge. After a few short flights, he landed inside a balcony on the 16th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. He was later rescued and released onto the roof.

Over the weekend, the blue-banded female was rescued and taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center because of exhaustion and dehydration. She has recovered and will be released onto the building later today.

The other falcons--white-band and red-band are making short flights around the building. DEP Environmental Education staff, interns and volunteers are coordinating the Falcon Watch and Rescue Program.

5/23/2013  ::   Banding Results
There are three females, one male. One of the females weighed in at 990 grams, the biggest we've ever banded at the Rachel Carson nest. They all had a physical exam and none showed any signs of disease, parasite infestation or injury.
5/13/2013  ::   Banding Event
The annual Peregrine Falcon banding event will be held Tuesday, May 21 at 1:00 PM in the Rachel Carson State Office Building Auditorium in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will be produced and live webcast by Commonwealth Media Services from the DEP Falcon Page. DEP is inviting teachers, with their students and non-formal educators to attend, through a pre-registration process. Biologists will weigh, examine and band the soon to be nearly four week old eyases.
5/1/2013  ::   Busy Birds
As the nestlings grow, their demand for food increases, keeping the male very busy. Soon, the nestlings will be feathered and developed enough that the female will hunt more regularly, typically bring back larger birds. It's all about biomass now and keeping up with the needs of the nestlings.
4/29/2013  ::   Full Brood of Four
Early on the morning of Tuesday, April 23rd the fourth chick hatched out. Because these four nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge. The next big event for the peregrines is the banding event, scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st at 1 PM.
4/22/2013  ::   Eggs Hatch!
Sometime between 2 and 3 PM on Saturday, April 20th, the first egg hatched. Early Sunday morning the second hatchling arrived. By Monday morning, April 22nd, three nestlings were being cared for by the adults. If viable, the fourth egg should hatch soon. This close hatch time among the nestlings is good news because they should compete for food without one or another being disadvantaged by being smaller and weaker than their nest-mates.
4/10/2013  ::   Incubation
Based on past reproductive timelines, we can expect the first egg to hatch around April 21st. The male seems to be very successful in hunting and providing for the female as she does most of the incubation. The male will do around one third of the incubation, allowing the female to hunt on her own, typically taking larger birds.
3/20/2013  ::   Egg Number Four
The fourth egg was observed in the nest around 8 AM this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch... within several days we'll know for certain. The female will do most of the incubation, as the male increases his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The female will hunt occasionally throughout the incubation period.
3/18/2013  ::   Three Eggs!
Sometime last night, the third egg arrived.

The adults now will incubate more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/15/2013  ::   2 eggs!
The female just laid second egg at about 2:37 p.m. today.
3/13/2013  ::   First Egg!
Late last night or early this morning, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid five days later than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/14/2013  ::   Live Streaming Video Begins!
The live stream video begins today! New HD cameras have been installed, providing a more crisp view of the fascinating behavior of Rachel's Peregrines. Activities at the ledge have been lighter this year. The peregrines have been spending more time away from the ledge. This may be because a ranging male has been persistent in his challenge to the resident male. There have been many intense battles at the ledge in recent weeks. Once this rivalry has been resolved, activity at the ledge should increase.
1/31/2013  ::   Still Image Issues
The still image capture is being handled by a new software program. Media staff are working to resolve problems that result in the image failing to refresh regularly.
2012
12/17/2012  ::   New Cameras Installed and Running
The new HD digital cameras have been installed. The still image capture is currently getting feed from one of three cameras. Later, networking hardware will be installed to bring the other two cameras into a viewing sequence, covering most of the ledge area. By the first week in February, the system should be ready for HD live stream broadcast.
11/28/2012  ::   Camera Upgrades
The cameras at the ledge will be replaced with new, state-of-the-art cameras to improve the image we provide for the 2013 nesting season. By Monday, December 3rd, the still image should be back on line.
8/8/2012  ::   Update from the Ledge
The live stream video has ended for the season. The still image capture is available year-round. The adult pair has been spending time together at the ledge and throughout the city. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good.
7/17/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Both of the adults have been at the ledge. This is a firm indication that the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The new female has been laying and rotating in the scrape. This behavior seems to be practice for the next nesting season which will get underway early in February of 2013.
6/22/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledglings have been sighted at various locations away from the nest ledge and occasionally visit the ledge briefly. They seem to have no interest in returning to the ledge. It is likely that the adult male is still flying with them and giving them advance hunting lessons. By the end of June, they should set out on their first long journey.
6/13/2012  ::   News from the Nest Ledge!
The new adult female falcon has been in the scrape with the male apparently pair-bonding.

She is a large falcon from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA, and was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

6/7/2012  ::   Female Falcon Update
This afternoon, an adult female peregrine was observed on the ledge. The female is banded. Based upon her alphanumeric band codes, she is from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA. She was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

Both fledges are doing well, and improving their hunting skills.

6/4/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
Both of the fledglings have been observed in flight, at times with the adult male, getting advance lessons. They are being fed at the ledge occasionally. They have reached to the point now where they are capable of receiving in-flight food exchanges. They're developing their skills rapidly.

There have been no reported sightings of any other adult peregrine appearing at or near the ledge.

5/29/2012  ::   Significant Happenings!
There is much to report on activities at the nest ledge over the holiday weekend. On Saturday, May 26th at 6:48 AM, the blue-banded eyas became a fledgling. His first attempt at flight resulted in a rescue from a low roof where a skylight prevented him from taking another attempt at flight. He was placed on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building and has been flying well since. At 7:25 AM on Memorial Day, the red-banded eyas flew and returned to the ledge. Today, the red-banded fledgling was rescued from the street after a precarious flight from a nearby treetop. The fledgling was returned to the nest ledge.

Thursday and Friday of last week the adult male seemed to be exhibiting attraction behavior, that is, he was sending notice to any passing female that he's available. Friday at 6:25 PM, a female arrived at the nest ledge and flew away. She has been spotted sporadically since the original sighting. Whether or not she is banded remains to be determined.

5/25/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday, just after 6AM, the red-banded eyas was swept off the ledge by a gust of wind as he flapped his wings. He was rescued from a nearby ally and returned to the ledge. At this age the eyases aren't quite ready to fly but they have the ability to make clumsy, relatively light landings. Volunteers are watching the young birds all day long from this point until they fledge and successfully return to the ledge. The adult male is doing a great job providing for the eyases on his own as there is still no sign of the adult female.

The eyases are very mobile on the ledge now and are sometimes completely out of camera view. They're spending time on a small ledge opposite the radius column behind the scrape.

5/22/2012  ::   Update on Rachel's Falcons
Despite daily search efforts, the adult female has not been located. The male has been providing food for the eyases. He is also a very good teacher. After the eyases make their first attempt at flight, he'll provide the fledges with flight and hunting lessons. We'll be observing the progress of the fledges and rescue them if they make any bad landings.
5/17/2012  ::   Falcon Sightings
The adult resident female has sustained an injury or disease that has rendered her unable to effectively hunt, feed herself and the eyases. The male has redoubled his hunting activities and is providing for the eyases. DEP staff has been trying to locate the female in hopes of live capturing her for treatment at a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center. Any information on her whereabouts would be appreciated. The female is one third larger than the male and is not banded. The male is banded. Falcon watchers can report information via the falcon page email account or call DEP's Environmental Education Center at 717 772-1828.
5/11/2012  ::   Banding Results
This year we have two male eyases- one weighs 560g, the other 590g. They're both in good health. The banding event seems to awaken the eyases to the fact that they can get out of the scrape and explore the nest ledge. This is critical to their physical development. They will begin building the strength and agility that will be necessary for them to attempt their first flight, which should happen in a few short weeks.
5/8/2012  ::   Banding Event
The banding event will be live webcast at 1 PM, tomorrow May 9th. Over 150 students, teachers and youth groups will be in attendance. Many of the teachers who will arrive with their students also attended a falcon teacher workshop here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building on April 3rd. This year we'll have two nestlings. They'll be weighed, examined and the sex will be determined before leg bands are attached. These bands will provide for an individual signature that identifies the birds when they fledge, disperse and seek out their own nesting territories.
4/30/2012  ::   Egg Update
There will be two nestlings banded at the May 9th banding event. Last year, one chick hatched for a total of three young produced at the nest over two years. This female was very young last year, and typically young peregrine females will lay eggs that are not viable. Even with adult females, one of four eggs not viable is not unusual. So there is reason for optimism in the sense that this pair has doubled the number of nestlings this year and as she matures, this female should produce eggs with a greater hatch success rate. The unhatched eggs in the nest will be added to the eggs from last year's nesting season and submitted for testing.
4/17/2012  ::   Two Hatchlings!
Yesterday afternoon, two of the chicks began to pip out of their egg shells. By early this morning, two hatchlings appeared from under the brooding female. They have been fed and appear to be active and healthy. From this point on, the adults will no longer be bored, incubating 24-7. Instead, they will be actively hunting most of the day to provide for the rapidly growing eyases.
4/16/2012  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon!
Based on past incubation periods, we can expect the first egg to hatch soon. The female is exhibiting behavior that would suggest this as well. Some of the eggs have white spots on them, also an indication that the first hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/15/2012  ::   Fourth Egg!
Around 7 AM this morning, the female falcon laid her fourth egg. We'll have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/13/2012  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg was laid at around 5 PM yesterday, March 12th. The female appears to be on her normal reproductive cycle.
3/12/2012  ::   Second Egg Arrives!
The second egg was laid at 6:26 AM, Saturday, March 10th. Thanks to all who emailed, reporting the time the egg was first observed.

The adults will incubate these two eggs only occasionally- when the third egg is laid, more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first two hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/8/2012  ::   First Egg of the Season!
The female exhibited egg laying behavior, late in the afternoon yesterday. This morning, we have the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid three days earlier than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/27/2012  ::   Nesting Season Well Underway
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. The male has been observed bringing food offerings to the female and breeding activity appears to be normal. There have been reports of conflicts in the sky, possibly the unbanded male returning to challenge the resident male. At this point, it is likely that the resident male and female will drive off any interlopers. Their bond is strong and their territory is mutually valued and defended.
1/24/2012  ::   Improved Camera Coverage
A third camera has put into the scan sequence to better cover activity at the nest ledge. As far as we know at this point there are still two males competing for breeding male dominance. Any activity observed from this point on is critical in determining how this nesting season will play out. The adult female is not banded. The new male is not banded. The resident male is banded and is somewhat smaller than the new male. DEP staff are observing the birds, as time allows, in order to identify subtle differences in plumage and markings among the three peregrine falcons.
1/19/2012  ::   Breaking News on the Resident Male!
The resident male, band code W/V, has reclaimed his territory! He was spotted at the ledge this afternoon in the company of the adult female. No sightings today of the unbanded male. It remains to be determined whether or not there was a territorial battle between the males or if this just sets the stage for a battle. Males at this nest site have had the habit of leaving the area for a week or two and then returning. Breeding activity typically takes place at this time of year so if the battle has not happened, it will likely happen soon. Any information that falcon watchers can provide about the behavior of these birds is of great value to DEP education staff monitoring the site. Information can be reported to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link below the web image window on the DEP falcon page.
2011
12/28/2011  ::   News From the Nest Ledge
A new male peregrine has been visiting the nest ledge since the first week in November. This bird is not banded and appears to be somewhat larger and younger than the resident male. The resident male peregrine was last seen in conflict with the new male on November 30th. The new male has since made food offerings to the female and they appear to be pair-bonding. It is likely that the new male was successful in his challenge for the nest site and resident female. The resident male may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what we can expect for the 2012 nesting season.
7/14/2011  ::   Fledgling and Video Streaming Update
The fledgling is reportedly still visiting the ledge regularly. We can assume that he is also getting advanced hunting lessons and is hunting on his own as well. Soon, he should become completely independent and begin his first year journey to places unknown.

The live stream video is scheduled to end tomorrow, July 15th 2011.

7/6/2011  ::   Update
The fledgling has been observed returning to the ledge most evenings. He should soon become completely independent. The adults are seldom seen at the ledge because they're probably still giving the fledgling hunting lessons. The new adult female may remain here throughout the remainder of summer, and possibly the fall and winter, as the original female did. Or, she may spend the winter elsewhere. This is all conjecture at this point because territorial behavior varies among individual breeding peregrines.
6/6/2011  ::   Fledge/Watch and Rescue Summary
The 2011 Falcon Watch and Rescue Program for the one fledgling Peregrine Falcon nesting on the 15th Floor of Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was extremely exciting and successful. The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) official volunteer Falcon Watch and Rescue Program was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 31st, with more than 15 individuals volunteering to observe the fledglings who worked in two-hour shifts from approximately 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.



However, our one-and-only fledgling decided to take his first flight a little earlier than expected, fledging around 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 27th. DEP called off the Falcon Watch and Rescue that was scheduled for May 31st - June 3rd, but the weekend and afterhours volunteer coordinators arranged volunteers to watch throughout the Memorial Holiday Weekend.



This year no falcon rescues took place! Throughout the week, the adult falcons encouraged the fledgling to take flight by enticing him with food while performing "fly-bys". In order to prepare for flight, the juvenile falcon would strengthen his wings by flapping and running from one end of the ledge to the other. He also had some practice take-offs by running, jumping and flapping his wings at the same time.





On Friday, May 27th, the silver-banded male fledged at approximately 9:00 a.m. and landed on top of the Strawberry Square Building. He relaxed there for about 10 minutes then attempted his next flight towards the 333 Market Street. He wasn't strong enough, however, to gain the height to the top, so the adult female guided him to the top of the Rachel Carson Building. Within an hour of this first take off from the ledge, he was back on the ledge again to rest.



After his first flight, he continued to hone his flying skills by making short flights to buildings surrounding the Rachel Carson Building. Some of the most frequently visited locations included the Pennsylvania Department of Education building located at 333 Market Street, Strawberry Square, and the Forum Place Building.



By Wednesday, June 1st, DEP concluded its 2011 Flacon Watch and Rescue Program. At that time, it was determined that the fledgling had improved his flying skills enough to maneuver safely and return to the 15th floor ledge.

5/31/2011  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledgling has been seen flying with both of the adults, seemingly getting flying lessons. He's getting stronger each day. Soon, he should get hunting lessons. This involves the adults transferring food in-flight and then assisting the fledgling in pursuit of prey. He seems to be on a fast track to independence. We expect him to gain full independence within five weeks. Then, he will likely leave the area traveling to unknown destinations. To learn more about this behavior, click on the Falcon Telemetry link on the DEP Falcon Page to view telemetry points and dates posted from the 2002 study.
5/27/2011  ::   The Fledge!
The little male ran the length of the ledge and took flight at 9:15 AM. He landed on nearby building. Within 15 minutes he was on top of the Rachel Carson State Office Building, his home building. Soon after, he returned to the nest ledge where he was rewarded with a meal. This fledgling now holds the record for earliest fledge and quickest return to the ledge. Watch and rescue crews will continue to track his whereabouts and ensure that if he gets into trouble they can respond and keep him out of harm's way.
5/26/2011  ::   Nestling Update
The eyas has been really active at the nest ledge. He's exhibiting behavior that suggests he may fledge prematurely. Watch and rescue crews are watching him closely in case he does fly and would have to be rescued from the street. The camera views, although not very appealing, provide the best view of the edges of the ledge where the eyas would take flight from. Our first priority is to have this view on streaming video so we can react if and when he does fledge.
5/19/2011  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, there is only one nestling at the ledge. Based on weight(660 grams)and the diameter of the legs the nestling was determined to be a male. The banding team placed an alphanumeric band on the nestling with characters large enough to read with binoculars and another US Fish and Wildlife band with a code that can be read with the bird in hand. The nestling was in good health. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight this young bird will take. He should fledge in about two weeks.
5/16/2011  ::   Banding Event Tomorrow
The banding event for 2011 will take place tomorrow, May 17th at 1 PM. The nestling appears to be in good health though it will get a thorough physical examination at the event. More than 170 students, teachers and volunteers will view the event live at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will also be live webcast through streaming video. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/26/2011  ::   Hatch Update
The remaining eggs in the scrape have had little incubation so it's likely we'll have only one nestling this season. We think this new female is very young and as such it's not unusual for her to lay infertile eggs. This may actually be good in the sense that she'll have less pressure in giving flight and hunting lessons to this nestling when it fledges than if the full clutch had hatched. Looking back to the 2000 season, mortality of the fledglings was high (75%) perhaps due to the inexperience of 4/4, the original Rachel Carson female in training the fledges to attain the skills necessary to reach independence.
4/20/2011  ::   First Hatch!
At 5:30 PM last evening, viewers noticed that one of the four eggs showed signs of "pipping out". By this morning, the first hatchling of the season had arrived. This nestling will get regular feedings as will the others when they hatch out.
4/13/2011  ::   First Hatch Expected Soon
The first hatch of the season is expected to happen the week of April 18th. The new female's reproductive clock appears to be around 9 days earlier than the original female. This will result in the earlier scheduling of key activities as well. The banding event will take place on Tuesday, May 17th and the watch and rescue activities will begin on Tuesday, May 31st.
3/30/2011  ::   Harrisburg Offspring Discovered at Nest!
The green-banded female from the 2009 nesting season has claimed her own nesting territory. This female was the largest of four females and one male banded on May 27th 2009. Her band codes were confirmed by falcon watchers on March 6th. She displaced an established female at a bridge scrape near Rocky River Metro Parks in Brookpark, Ohio, a few miles south of Cleveland. The site is close to Cleveland Hopkins Airport and the entranceway to NASA. No reports yet of eggs in the nest but there have been many sightings of breeding activity. The Harrisburg watch and rescue crews should be commended here because if not for their efforts in rescuing this female from the street several days after fledging, she may not have survived.
3/18/2011  ::   Egg Number Four!
Early this morning, the fourth egg arrived. This may be the full clutch, but we have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/16/2011  ::   Third Egg!
Now that there are three eggs in the nest, incubation time will increase. We can also now begin to estimate the date of the first hatch. With an average incubation time if 34 days, we can expect the first hatch to take place the third week in April.
3/14/2011  ::   Second Egg!
The second egg was delivered early Sunday morning, March 13th. Typically, a full clutch would have three to five eggs. The previous female would consistently lay five eggs to complete the clutch. Both of the adults will spend long hours hunting so the female can meet her nutritional needs during egg development. Soon, the hunting duties will shift primarily to the male, as the female spends more time incubating the eggs.
3/11/2011  ::   First Egg!
This morning at 9:30 an egg was observed in the scrape. The new female was eight days earlier, on average than her predecessor, 4/4 in delivering the first egg of the season. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins. From all indications, this female is very young. As such, it will be difficult to say with any certainty that this year will be as productive as past nesting seasons but it will certainly be interesting to watch and find out.
2/17/2011  ::   Video Streaming Begins
The live stream video web hosting has begun for the 2011 season. What's new for this nesting season? Most significantly, there is a new female in the nest. She arrived the first week in September of last year. The second week in September, an employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challengers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out their own nesting territory. For more on the life and legacy of the original female, click on the Falcon Stories link on the DEP Falcon Page.



The new female is not banded so her age and geographic origin cannot be determined. However, when she arrived, she sported a bit of rusty brown coloring, an indication that she was emerging from juvenile plumage. In terms of predicting the date the first egg will arrive, all bets are off. In order to provide the best chance to view the laying of the first egg, the camera will be fixed on the nest box from now until the nestlings begin moving out of the box.

2/7/2011  ::   Rachel's Falcons Begin 2011 Nesting Season
Falcon watchers have reportedly seen breeding activities at the nest ledge. DEP Environmental Education staff are preparing for another season of outreach and education on endangered species reintroduction with Rachel's falcons as the focal point. We're currently seeking approval to contract for the live streaming video (more on this later) and the annual teacher workshop is set for April 12th, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
2010
9/14/2010  ::   There's a New Female in Town!
For the past two weeks there has been a lot of activity at and near the nest ledge. Recently, a new adult female falcon has been seen bonding with the male. The origin of this female is unknown as she is not banded. Email information from web viewers indicates that the resident female is no longer at the ledge. An employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challenging interlopers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out nesting territory. Any information that web viewers care to share would be appreciated. For now, we have set two close camera views at the nest box and perch for observation purposes.
7/21/2010  ::   Blue Band Loses Battle with Trichomoniasis
Due to the trichomoniasis infection, blue lost weight and became more susceptible to secondary infections. He had intestinal parasites, which cleared up with medication, and other secondary infections. He lost weight, and never returned to his weight at the age of banding. His feather development was retarded, and he was not preening himself properly. All of these are the consequences of the initial trich infection. It is indeed a nasty disease. As a result of these conditions, euthanizing became the necessary course of action.
7/13/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
Previously, we reported that the fledges may have dispersed from the area. Viewer emails have indicated that they are still around. Here is information provided by an avid viewer:

"All the birds pretty much are off the ledge & hunkered down somewhere staying cool during the heat of the day, but early every morning the adults can be seen on the ledge, & in the evening, not only can you see the adults, but the kids as well. I've seen the parents on the ledge every day & at least one juvenile every day".

7/9/2010  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 16th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/9/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Will Be Down
The Falcon Cam will be down on Tuesday, July 13th in the morning. Viewers should be able to watch the live Falcon Cam in the afternoon.
7/1/2010  ::   Updates
For the Latest Updates Click on the Falcon Wire News Button
6/30/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
One of the fledges spent several hours resting on the ledge today. With a close camera angle we were able to get a good look at him and he looked fine. The adult male was perched above him on one of the camera housings. Now, they are out together, engaged in flight/hunting lessons. Earlier today, the adult female was spotted doing the same with the other fledge. Blue's condition continues to improve although not at the pace we would like to see. All in all Rachel's falcons are doing fine.
6/24/2010  ::   Update on Blue
The infections/parasites are gone. He's improving daily.

He will not be released here at the Rachel Carson Building-he's not ready. Feather development is still slow and weight is still down. He's not preening, so his flight feathers are slow to come in. Eventually, we would like to release him, but there is no guarantee he'll fully recover. If he does, the release may occur this Fall or Spring of 2011. He will get flying and hunting lessons while in rehabilitation.

6/16/2010  ::   Blue
Blue has gained a little more weight; he now weighs 540 grams. However, he is also being treated for parasites and a secondary protozoan infection. Because of these conditions it is best to keep him in wildlife rehabilitation. The more time that passes, the less likely it is he'll be released to the ledge. If later, he does recover fully, he may be released at another nest site where nestlings are fledging later. If he does not develop 100% strength and vitality he may remain in captivity for educational purposes.
6/11/2010  ::   Fledgling Activity
From yesterday's after hours watch and rescue reports, white took two flights last evening. Today he is perched high on a nearby building. Red has visited the ledge often and continues to investigate rooftops throughout the city. These two fledges should begin their flight/hunting lessons soon.
6/10/2010  ::   The Latest on Blue
Blue will not be released to the ledge this week. Yesterday, his weight was 510 grams. The wildlife rehabilitator would like to get his weight up to 600 grams before considering the release. In addition, his feather development is delayed. We'll keep viewers updated on his progress.
6/9/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
White has remained on the ledge since he was rescued from a boxed in low rooftop yesterday morning. The adults are withholding food from him at this point so that he'll take flight again. Then, many of the food transfers will take place in flight. Red is on top of a nearby building. He's been taking some good strong flights the past two days. Blue should return from wildlife rehab tomorrow or Friday to be released on the nest ledge.
6/8/2010  ::   The Latest News
Red had a good flight from the roof and is on the nest ledge now. The rehabilitator would like blue's feathering to develop a little more before release. We're planning to return blue to the ledge Thursday or Friday of this week.
6/7/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
The two males fledged yesterday from the ledge. From all accounts, the white banded male fledged first at around 9:30 AM. He ended up near the street were he was rescued and placed on the roof of the building. Just after 1 PM white flew from the building and landed on the sidewalk, where again he was rescued. The red banded fledge took his first flight later in the morning. He remained on a low, boxed in rooftop until today at 3:30 PM when he was rescued and placed on the roof. The goal for the fledglings now will be to return to the ledge. There are two teams of watchers keeping an eye on them.



The blue banded male taken for treatment has recovered to the extent the rehabilitator would like to return him to the ledge soon. Thanks to the weekend watch and rescue crew for rescuing white after first flight attempt and briefing DEP staff on these happenings this morning.

6/1/2010  ::   Blue-Banded Male Update
This afternoon, officials from the Game Commission successfully retrieved the blue-banded male falcon that was taken by a wildlife rehabilitator for treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the ledge. The other two eyasses were treated as a precaution and returned to the ledge.
6/1/2010  ::   Update about Blue-Banded Male
At the time of banding, signs of the trichomoniasis (trich) infection were observed in the blue-banded male. The eyas was treated with the recommended dose of antibiotic by the Game Commission's Art McMorris. Trichomoniasis is a fairly widespread infection in young raptors. After careful observation, and in response to public notification that he is not responding well, the Game Commission has decided to retrieve the eyas so that it can be re-examined and, if necessary, treated more extensively off-site by a veterinarian until he is ready to be returned to the nest. The other two eyasses, which did not show signs of trich, will be re-examined as well. Infections, parasites and other maladies are a "fact of life" in wild animals, and we are fortunate that we can give this peregrine the benefit of medical attention.
5/27/2010  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, all of the nestlings are males. The banding team placed colored tape on the nestlings for the purpose of keeping track of them when they fledge. The largest of them, at 690 grams, is sporting white tape; the smallest, at 550 grams, blue and the middle sized nestling, at 590 grams, has red tape. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight these young birds will make. They should begin fledging in about two weeks.
5/26/2010  ::   Banding Event
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM tomorrow, May 27 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 180 students and teachers will be in attendance. Visit the DEP Website at www.depweb.state.pa.us to view the banding event.
5/11/2010  ::   Brood Complete
This year, there is a full brood of three nestlings. Last year and in 2006 there were five. In eight of the nine previous years the brood numbered four. In 2005, there was a full brood of three nestlings. The adult female at this nest site is now 12 years old. It is not unusual for a breeding bird of this age to lay one or two infertile eggs. The birds cannot be disturbed at this critical time so the remaining infertile egg will be retrieved after the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The real work now begins for the adult pair. They will have to hunt continuously to keep up with their rapidly growing brood.
5/7/2010  ::   Status of Eggs
One of the two remaining eggs was broken sometime overnight. There is one unhatched egg remaining. Since there was yolk in the broken egg, it most likely was infertile, or at least, any embryo had little development. If the other egg is not viable, it will begin to decay, and will be vulnerable to breaking under the process of decomposition.
5/6/2010  ::   Status of Unhatched Eggs?
To date, the two remaining eggs have not yet hatched. In past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see what happens. By this weekend, hopefully we'll see the hatches.
5/3/2010  ::   Three Eggs Hatched!
The second egg reportedly hatched around noon on Saturday, May 1st. The third egg hatched early this morning, May 3rd, sometime before dawn. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the fourth egg hatches.
4/29/2010  ::   First Egg Hatched!
Around 2:45 p.m. today, the first Peregrine Falcon nestling, called an eyas, hatched out of its egg. The young falcon used an egg tooth on its beak to break through the shell. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the next egg hatches.
4/27/2010  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon
We expect the first egg to hatch the end of this week or into the weekend. The hatchlings will take food shortly after emerging from the egg. When all of the eggs have hatched, the adults will have to hunt and provide food for the nestlings for the following eight weeks as they grow and develop. Even after fledging in June, the young birds will be dependent on the adults to deliver food in-flight until the fledges attain independence.
4/13/2010  ::   Email Notification
If you are signed up on our educator database and have requested email notification about big events and happenings related to the falcons, this message is for you- The next big happening will be the hatching of the first egg, around the end of April to the first day or two in May. Viewers who want to catch this kind of action should visit the Falcon Page often and may also follow the falcons on Twitter- click on the Twitter link on the Falcon Page. To help anticipate when these big things will happen, click on the Falcon Wire News link and read the updates from the 2009 nesting season.
4/8/2010  ::   Juvenile Female Claims New Territory
The red-band coded female that fledged from the Rachel Carson State Office Building two years ago has been spotted at a nest site in Wilmington, Delaware; she may be responsible for killing the resident female and taking over the scrape.

This female was banded on May 22nd 2008 and weighed 795 g, the largest of the four nestlings banded that day. The Rachel Carson female and her mother, the nesting female at the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia from 1998 until 2005 are know to biologist as intensely aggressive and territorial. These traits have clearly been passed on to their progeny.

To see the young female at her new scrape, visit http://www.dosbirds.org/wilmfalcons

3/30/2010  ::   Egg Number Five!
Shortly after noon today, March 30th, the fifth egg arrived. This is probably the full clutch. From this point until the eggs hatch around the end of April, the male will be the primary hunter, providing food for the female. He will also incubate the eggs about 30% of the incubation period. After hatching, up until the eyases fledge in the middle of June, both of the adults will rely on their hunting skills to provide for a rapidly growing family. The abundance of migrating and resident birds in the area will be key to the success of the falcon nesting season here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
3/29/2010  ::   Egg Number Four!
Sometime after nightfall on Saturday, March 27th and 11:20 AM on the 28th the fourth egg arrived. This could be the full clutch or as in the past three years, the full clutch may end up numbering five.
3/25/2010  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg arrived sometime in the early morning of March 25th. One or two more will probably complete the clutch.
3/23/2010  ::   Second Egg!
Early this morning, March 23rd, the female Peregrine Falcon laid the second egg. As the clutch grows, the adults will begin brooding for longer periods of time. This progressive brooding behavior allows the eggs to hatch at close intervals. The male and female will share brooding duties; the male will sit 30 to 40 percent of the entire time it takes to hatch the full clutch.
3/22/2010  ::   First Egg!
The first egg was laid at approximately 8:15 AM on Saturday, March 20th. We can expect the next to arrive very soon. This egg will get very little incubation as the even growth and development of the eyases is a very important factor in nest production; more to follow on this later.
3/18/2010  ::   First Egg Expected Soon
Rachel's female falcon should lay the first egg of the season within the next few days. She is expected to lay 4 to 5 eggs. The first two eggs will get little incubation time. After the third egg, incubation time is increased. When the clutch is full, incubation is constant. The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female does most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The camera angles will now be set for close views into the scrape.
3/11/2010  ::   Camera Angles
Soon the cameras will be set to view inside the nest box. For now the most interesting activities are seen at the current camera compositions. The southeast corner of the ledge and the perching post are habitual hangouts for these birds. Breeding activity often takes place on the southeast corner as well.
3/9/2010  ::   Eggs Before Easter
The first egg of the season should arrive within two weeks time. Last year the first egg arrived on the 21st of March. The adult female has been within two to three days on this egg-laying schedule for the past ten years. For the past four years the female has laid a full clutch of five eggs. Egg production is directly related to nutrition, the availability of food and the ability of a healthy breeding pair to attain and metabolize it. The happy irony is that this is an ongoing tribute to Rachel Carson and her work- most notably the 1962 book Silent Spring. Peregrine falcons have made their home on the fifteenth floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years.
2/4/2010  ::   Male Peregrine Returns!
At 1:25 PM today, February 4, 2010 the Rachel Carson male peregrine was spotted on the southeast corner of the ledge. This ends his long absence from the ledge and renews expectations for another successful nesting season.
1/27/2010  ::   Adult Male Sightings
Typically this pair of peregrines can be found spending much of their time together this time of year. The female has been seen frequently at the ledge, the male has not been spotted for some time. This male does tend to wander for long periods of time and possibly at great distances. If he is not with this female the first week in February we can speculate that something may have happened to him. In any case, web cam viewers are urged to email via the Contact DEP link to report peregrine sightings at the ledge. The male is one third smaller than the female and has been known to perch on top of one of the camera housings to the left of the orange column on the wide camera view of the ledge.
1/11/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Image Down for Maintenance
The still image capture will be down for hardware maintenance tomorrow, January 12th through Thursday, January 14th. Viewers should be able to see images at the ledge again Friday morning.
2009
7/22/2009  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 24th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/22/2009  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
There has been no confirmed sighting of the yellow banded female over the past three days. In order for the Game Commission to assist her she would have to regularly visit a known roosting site. If we can get reliable information about such a site, a live capture may be attempted. The adult male and female have been observed resting for long periods of time. This is an indication that the juveniles have moved out of the area. They may return sporadically over the next few weeks but soon they'll be completely independent.
7/17/2009  ::   Yellow Injured
The yellow banded female has sustained injuries that could be life threatening. The lower beak is badly injured and one eye appears to be injured as well. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. The Game Commission is considering a live capture of the fledgling to determine if the injuries can be treated. Any falcon watchers who know of yellow's favorite perches and or behavior patterns that may help in locating the fledgling should post this information to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link on the Falcon Page.
6/25/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The four surviving fledglings are doing well. They have been seen taking flight from the nest ledge to their seemingly favorite food drop perches. The new Harrisburg University for Science and Technology has been a favorite haunt for the fledges. The building has many wide ledges at different levels providing easy access for the birds and great viewing for University staffers. As we move through June and into July there will be less happening at the nest ledge. For the falcon watchers on the street the action has just begun. The birds are getting flight and hunting lessons from both of the adults. Soon they will take their show on the road and fly with the fledges up and down the Susquehanna River Corridor. These corridors are not only watercourses to the Sea but also bird migration pathways and will forever signal prime feeding and breeding habitat to the Peregrine Falcon.
6/15/2009  ::   The Latest on the Fledglings
The blue-banded female fledged on Saturday. She was rescued on Sunday and placed on the roof. All four of the surviving fledglings are now doing well and getting flight lessons from the adults.
6/12/2009  ::   Fledgling News
The blue-banded female remains on the nest ledge. She appears to be in good health. She is probably the youngest and is taking her good time before fledging. The green-banded female was rescued from the street last evening and released on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building- she returned to the ledge this morning. The yellow and red-banded females continue to take short flights back and forth from lower rooftops. The white-banded male has not been as fortunate. He was discovered injured along a nearby rail line this morning. Both of his legs were severely injured. He was transported to a nearby Wildlife Rescue Center where he will be euthanized.
6/11/2009  ::   Status of Fledglings
The yellow banded female was returned to us from wildlife rehabilitation and we released her on the roof around 2 PM. She took flight within a half hour and is doing okay. The red and green banded females have been observed taking short flights to lower building rooftops. The white banded male has not yet been located. The blue banded female is content for now to rest at the ledge; she'll fledge in her own time.
6/10/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The green banded female and the white banded male have fledged. Watch and rescue members are watching both of them as they take successive flights attempting to eventually return to the nest ledge. The yellow banded female has been held for further observation to ensure that she is 100 percent recovered before placing her on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building to take flight again. Taking off from the roof, above the nest ledge, provides a better chance for the fledglings to safely return to the nest ledge.
6/9/2009  ::   Update on Yellow Band
The yellow banded female is reportedly in good physical condition. After a final examination by a vet, she could be released this evening or tomorrow.
6/9/2009  ::   First Fledge!
The yellow banded female fledged at 6:45 this morning. She was rescued from a nearby street and sent to a wildlife rescue/rehabilitation center. Preliminary information indicated she may have an injured leg. We'll get an update and report on her condition this afternoon.
6/3/2009  ::   Update on the Eyases
The five young eyases have physically grown and developed considerably since the banding event on May 27th. Soon, they will make their first flight attempt, known as fledging. Beginning on Monday, June 8th, watch and rescue staff will track the activities of the eyases as they take to the air, one at a time until all have fledged. Although the larger eyases have had the advantage at feeding times, the smaller, more agile ones may have the advantage in flight. The little male (white band) has been running up and down the ledge all week. He's just waiting for his feathers to develop a little more before he makes his first attempt. At the other end of the spectrum, we see the largest female (green band) - she may not be as agile as the smaller birds and the watch and rescue team will watch her closely and respond if she ends up on the street or on one of the nearby parking garages. In any event, fledging is probably the most critical step in the life cycle of peregrines and success can help to ensure the long-term survival of these endangered raptors.
5/28/2009  ::   Banding Results
At the May 27th banding event, the PGC banded four female nestlings, one male. All five of the eyases were treated for mites; all are doing well. The watch and rescue program will begin on Monday, June 8th and run through the weekend or until all of the eyases have fledged and returned to the ledge.
5/6/2009  ::   Educators and Students Invited to Attend Peregrine Falcon Banding Event on May 27th




On Wednesday, May 27th, the Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Game Commission will host the annual Peregrine Falcon Banding Event at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, PA from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Teachers and their students, non-formal educators and youth organizations are invited to attend this event. Activities will include the weighing, examination and banding of the nestlings. There is no cost to attend the banding event.

To register for this event, please contact Ann Devine at 717 772-1644 or adevine@state.pa.us.

Since 1997, a pair of Peregrine Falcons have made their home on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg. The falcon pair has successfully reproduced since 2000, and this Spring, the female again laid a clutch of five eggs

5/4/2009  ::   All Five Eggs Hatched!
Over the weekend, the remaining two falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to five. The fourth egg hatched out at roughly 6:40 p.m. on Friday, May 1. The fifth egg hatched out some time overnight between Saturday night May 2 and early Sunday morning, May 3. This is the second time that all five eggs have hatched.
5/1/2009  ::   Three Have Hatched
The second egg reportedly hatched around 10 AM on Friday, May 1st. The third hatched around 1:30 PM, May 1st. The weather forecast is for cool, wet weather the entire weekend. The adults will continue to keep the chicks warm throughout this period to prevent hypothermia.
4/30/2009  ::   First Egg Hatched!
The first of the five eggs hatched mid-morning today. Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. Stay tuned throughout the weekend to see if all five eggs hatch.
4/29/2009  ::   Peregrine Chicks Should Hatch Soon!
Based on incubation periods recorded in past years we should expect the first egg to hatch on or around May first. In the past one of the five eggs has failed to produce a hatchling. It will be interesting to see what happens this year.

FalconWire Archives
2017
11/28/2017  ::   New Male Observed on Ledge
A new male peregrine has been visiting the nest ledge since last Friday. This bird is banded, band code 38/S, and appears to be larger and younger than the resident male. The new male was banded in 2010 on the McElhatten Bridge in Clinton County and visited the ledge in January.

The fourteen-year old resident male has a black over red striped leg band with "W/V" on it. He was last observed on Sunday, November 19th on the ledge. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings, photos and interactions would be of great value in determining what we can expect for the 2018 nesting season. Please email to ra-epfalcon@pa.gov .

9/8/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The rehabilitator and the veterinarian determined that the Blue-banded falcon will never fully develop, including the liver. These anomalies most likely occurred while this bird was still developing in its egg. Therefore, Blue cannot be released into the wild. At this point, the rehabilitator is in the process of locating a suitable home where the falcon can be used for educational purposes.
8/1/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The blue-banded falcon remains at the wildlife rehabilitation center. The falcon is flying well, but still undersized. "Blue" will be having additional x-rays to examine the falcon's liver development. At this point, it appears that "Blue" may become an educator's bird supporting endangered species outreach programs.
7/28/2017  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male stays in the area most of the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/22/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Today, the rehabilitator provided an update on "Blue", the young falcon that has yet to fledge. An X-ray was done and indicated that this bird's liver is underdeveloped. This may be the reason why it was so far behind in developing its flight feathers. At this point, releasing this young falcon at the Rachel Carson State Office Building is highly unlikely. Actually, there's no guarantee "Blue" will survive in captivity. Treatment with antibiotics is progressing well but only time and close monitoring will tell. "Blue" is scheduled for another X-ray in two months. If the liver issue stabilizes, then consideration will be given to "Blue's" future.
6/15/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Yesterday, the blue-banded falcon received an x-ray, and it was discovered the male has an underdeveloped liver, which may explain the slow growth and feather development. At this point, the final prognosis is unclear, the current plan is to continue observation to see if "Blue" can be returned to the wild or remain in captivity as an education bird.
6/14/2017  ::   Update on Blue-Banded Male Falcon
During a subsequent flight yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded male had a possible collision with a nearby building. The young falcon became grounded and was rescued. He currently is recovering at the Red Creek Wildlife Center.
6/13/2017  ::   Blue-Banded Male Released!
Today around 11 a.m., the blue-banded male returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the building's roof. He took off immediately flying exceptionally well. The adult falcons will bring the young male food and will teach flying and hunting skills.

Both "red" and "white" are spending more time in the air getting advanced flight and hunting lessons from the adults. The adults are teaching them to dive by doing food drops.

After fledging, the falcon juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. But, as their flying and hunting skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.

5/30/2017  ::   More Fledges!
The white-banded falcon fledged around 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 27th and is flying successfully.

Around 9:30 a.m. on May 27th, the blue-banded male fledged and collided with nearby buildings. The young male landed in the street and was subsequently rescued by the falcon watch and rescue volunteers. The volunteers transported "blue" to a nearby wildlife rehabilitator, and it is recovering from a concussion. Today's report from the rehabilitator suggests it will likely recover and may be returned to the building sometime soon.

White and red both are flying well and can be observed flying between taking short flights near the Rachel Carson State Office Building and receiving hunting lessons from the adults.

5/26/2017  ::   First Fledges!
Around 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 25th, the blue-banded male took an accidental first flight landing on the roof of a nearby building. On Friday morning, May 26th, the Environmental Education Center staff and interns recovered "Blue" and placed him on the nest ledge.

Around 11 a.m., the red-banded male took his first flight, successfully landing on the nearby Harrisburg University Building and other nearby buildings. Observers have reported that "Red" is flying well.

5/16/2017  ::   Banding Results
On May 10th, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one nestling of undetermined sex. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The first male weighed in at 585 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band the other male that weighed 595 grams; and white tape on the 585 gram nestling of undetermined sex. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
4/18/2017  ::   Three Nestlings!
Around 9:30 this morning, the second chick hatched out. Then, around 12:30 p.m., the third hatchling emerged. Because these three nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge.
4/17/2017  ::   First Hatch!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:00 p.m., the first egg hatched. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the second hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
4/4/2017  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Over the weekend, a small hole was observed one of the four eggs. The adult falcons are no longer incubating it, as it was pushed aside. This egg isn't viable, and it won't hatch. While disappointing, this is not unusual. If it is still intact during banding, the Pennsylvania Game Commission biologists will collect it for pesticide analysis.
3/15/2017  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 12th and the fourth egg this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure.
3/10/2017  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 12:25 p.m. today. The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on the ledge and nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/8/2017  ::   First Egg!
At around 8:16 a.m. today, March 8th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.

1/25/2017  ::   Breaking News From the Nest Ledge!
Since January 11th, a new male peregrine, band code 38/S, has been visiting the nest ledge and observed pair bonding with the resident female. This apparently larger bird was banded in 2010 on the McElhattan Bridge in Clinton County near Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The nearly 14 year-old resident male, band code W/V, was spotted back on the ledge yesterday. The male at this nest site often leaves the area for a week or two and then return when breeding activity typically resumes.

This morning, an unbanded female arrived on the ledge. Based upon observations from staff, there may have been a territorial battle between the females this morning. The resident female was later observed on the ledge, and so far, there are no reports of the unbanded female. It's possible that the challenger may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what to expect for the 2017 nesting season.

2016
10/5/2016  ::   Window Washing
Today, window washers will be cleaning the windows on the front side of the Rachel Carson Building. As an endangered species, building maintenance must be scheduled outside of the breeding season to avoid any disturbances to the nest.
7/29/2016  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The last report of the red-banded female was on June 28th, where she was observed eating on a nearby building and flying in the area. As far as we know she may be okay as no news is good news. The other fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male now stays in the area throughout the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/30/2016  ::   Red - Injured?
The red-banded female may have sustained injuries late last week. The beak and one eye may be injured. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. Any falcon cam watcher who observes red eating should email the date and time of feeding along with a photo, if possible, to ra-epfalcon@pa.gov. She has red tape over a silver leg band on her right leg and a black and green band, 83/BR, on her left leg.
6/13/2016  ::   Fledge Update
The three fledglings likely will remain in the area for another four to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, flight and hunting lessons, leading to their complete independence. While viewers can still watch some activity at the ledge, it will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor making longer and longer flights.
6/3/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Released!
Yesterday around noon, the red-banded female returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the 15th floor ledge. Today around 2 p.m., she took her first flight and seems to be doing well.

Both males are flying extremely well and learning advanced flight and hunting techniques, including the spectacular dive, called a stoop, where peregrines can reach speeds of more than 200 mph!

6/1/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Update - No Fractures!
Good news! The red-banded female, who was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center on Friday, does not have any fractures. She is flying in the flight cage among perches building strength. As long as she's fully recovered, she may be released onto the building later this week. The wildlife rehabilitator noted that red is very aggressive, an important survival characteristic for this wild peregrine's success.
5/31/2016  ::   News about Red-Banded Female and Fledging Update
On Friday, May 27th, an officer from the Harrisburg Police Department retrieved a grounded red-banded female. She was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center for examination and treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the building. We'll keep the viewers updated about her progress.

Both males are flying well and are receiving flight lessons from the adults. Soon they will start learning to hunt.

5/25/2016  ::   Fledging Update
On Monday, May 23rd, the white-banded male made the first flight around 3 p.m. He landed on the roof of the nearby train station. He was later rescued, examined and released to the roof. Yesterday, the blue-banded male fledged and safely landed on a lower roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
5/4/2016  ::   Banding Results
Yesterday, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one female. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The female weighed in at 715 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 535 gram male; white tape on another 535 gram male. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 23rd.
4/19/2016  ::   Update on the Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, the fourth egg did not hatch, and at this point, it is highly unlikely that it will. While this is discouraging, it is normal. However, the other three nestlings all seem to be feeding, growing and doing well!
4/18/2016  ::   Three Nestlings!
On Friday evening, the third nestling emerged around 7:30 p.m.

The fourth egg hasn't hatched, and at this point, it is unlikely that it will. While discouraging, this is normal. That said in past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see. The other three young falcons, called eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!

4/15/2016  ::   Eggs Hatching!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:10 p.m., the first egg hatched. Sometime overnight, the second egg hatched as well. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the third hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/29/2016  ::   Nest Box Update
The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days, so we can expect the first egg to hatch around mid-April. The male has been hunting regularly for both falcons and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/14/2016  ::   Fourth Egg!
On Saturday around 10 a.m., the fourth egg arrived!
3/10/2016  ::   Third Egg!
Early this morning before dawn, the female laid the third egg! We should start to see the female doing more incubation. Last year, the female laid four eggs, so we'll have to wait a day or two to see if she lays another egg.
3/8/2016  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg before dawn this morning! The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/7/2016  ::   First Egg!
At around 7:11 a.m. on Saturday, March 5th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the nest meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The camera angles now are set for close views into the scrape.

2/24/2016  ::   2016 Nesting Season Update
The adults have renewed their pair bond and are spending more time together at the nest ledge. Viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior and breeding activity. This courtship behavior includes vocal interactions, hunting skills, food offerings and spectacular displays of flight. The male does these acts seemingly to demonstrate his ability to be a good provider. The first egg should arrive around mid-March.

The male is entering his 13th year. He fledged from the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003. The nearly 7 year old female fledged from the PA/NJ Turnpike Bridge in Bucks County in 2009.

For more information, photos and updates, be sure to follow the falcons on Twitter and Instagram @falconchatter or on Flickr at falconchatter.

2/12/2016  ::   Live Feed of Harrisburg's Famous Peregrine Falcons Returns Just in Time for Valentine's Day
Love is in the air in Harrisburg as the city's famous pair of peregrine falcons have returned to their nest on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building just in time for Valentine's Day. To celebrate, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today launched a redesigned falcon website that features a high definition, three-camera live video feed of the nest that will now be streamed year-round. The site also provides more opportunities for people to interact through social media.

Valentine's Day is typically the time when the falcons renew their courtship behavior. The male will offer food to the female and put on a spectacular display of flight and hunting skills, all to impress her and prove his ability to be a good provider. There also is some vocal interaction at the nest.

"Providing a live feed of the peregrine falcons has helped to teach a generation of Pennsylvania school students and the public about the connection between wildlife and our environment," DEP Secretary John Quigley said. "It underscores the effects we humans have on the natural world and how we can all be better stewards."

The redesigned falcon website includes new interactive features like Instagram and Flickr where users can upload their own wildlife photos and even retweet a falcon valentine on Twitter. Visitors can learn about the falcons' history in Harrisburg, view a calendar of seasonal activity and link to other bird cams from around the state. The live video will now be streamed year-round instead of ending in June. Favorite website features like information and lesson plans for teachers and the Falcon Wire are still available.

The 13-year old male falcon has occupied the nest site at the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years. This is considered old for a wild peregrine, so at some point, a new male may challenge him for the nest site. The seven-year-old female is entering her fourth year at this nest site.

If their courtship is successful, the first of several eggs should arrive around mid-March. The first egg of 2015 arrived March 16. Since 2000, 58 of the 69 eggs produced at the nest have hatched. Thirty-four were females, and 23 males (in 2008, the sex of one of the young falcons could not be determined). The eggs typically hatch in mid-May and the young falcons take their first flights in June.

"This nest site in Harrisburg is one of the most productive ones in the state and its success is due in large part to our online community" Quigley said. "We thank our wonderful volunteers who look out for the young falcons when they're learning to fly, and our online viewers around the globe who keep tabs on their every move!"

To view the new website and video feed, visit DEP's website at www.dep.pa.gov/falcon.

2015
6/26/2015  ::   Streaming Video Time Extended
The streaming video will now end Tuesday, June 30th.
6/25/2015  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
The juveniles are spending more time in the air, getting flight and hunting lessons from the adults. This means they're spending less time at the ledge. The live stream feed will end tomorrow, June 26th. The still image capture is available year-round from the DEP Falcon Page.
6/4/2015  ::   Update from the Ledge!
This week, Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers and staff have been continuously watching the three female fledglings making flights around the city. The white-banded female has been flying successfully today after spending yesterday on a small ledge near the Capitol.

Unfortunately, late yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female died after flying into a window. There are a lot of hazards for the young falcons at urban nest sites including window strikes.

The red-banded female took her first flight early this morning and landed on a low roof on the Rachel Carson Building. She attempted to make another flight but landed on the ground near the main entrance. The DEP staff and interns rescued, examined and released her onto the roof of the building.

6/1/2015  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female fledged prematurely. She was rescued, examined and placed on the roof of the building. She's been getting regular feedings from the adults. Soon, she'll take flight intentionally and gaining strength and flying skills, will return to the nest ledge.
5/21/2015  ::   Banding Results:
All three nestlings have been determined to be females. They are all in good health. Each has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The largest of the three weighed in at 900 grams and has a white tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 855 gram female; red tape on an 850 gram female. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
5/19/2015  ::   Peregrine Falcon Banding Event!
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM on Thursday, May 21 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be a live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 130 students and teachers will be in attendance. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/27/2015  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, over the weekend, the fourth egg did not completely hatch. At this point, it is unlikely that this hatchling will emerge. While this is discouraging, it is normal. The other eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!
4/23/2015  ::   Three!
Early this morning, the third hatchling was discovered in the nest. All three have taken food from the adult female as of 9:30 AM.
4/22/2015  ::   First Hatch of the Season!
We have two hatchlings! One arrived late yesterday afternoon, April 21st; the second, sometime overnight, ushering in Earth Day 2015!
3/23/2015  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 19th and the fourth egg over the weekend on March 21st. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/17/2015  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 7 p.m. last night!
3/16/2015  ::   First Egg!
At around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape!

The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

3/12/2015  ::   When Will It Happen?
Falcon viewers are in the proverbial waiting room, in anticipation of the big event! Last year, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, the first egg was laid on March 12th. This female, being consistently reliable, should deliver the first egg of the season very soon. Stay tuned as the excitement builds!
3/3/2015  ::   Streaming Video Available
An upgraded version of video streaming is now online and accessibly to falcon viewers. The new sharper images provide an intimate view into the courtship and pre-nesting behavior of the adult peregrine falcon pair here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. Stay tuned as the first egg is expected the second week in March.
2/17/2015  ::   Streaming Video Date Set
The live stream webcasting begins March 2nd.

The adult peregrines have renewed their pair bond. They are spending more time together at the nest ledge and web viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior. The male is providing food offerings to the female, exhibiting his ability to be a strong provider. The female will increase her hunting and feeding activities in advance of nesting activities. Egg production and viability is directly related to nutrition levels in the female.

2/3/2015  ::   Outlook For 2015 Nesting Season
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. By the end of February, the male typically makes food offerings to the female and breeding activity heightens. Live stream webcasting at the ledge is tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, March 2nd.
2014
8/8/2014  ::   Update on Juveniles
The adults have returned to the ledge periodically over the past several weeks. This is an indication that they are no longer flying with the fledges and that our young juvenile peregrines have become independent. Chances are, they have already arrived in one of our great flyways, where they'll be sustained by soon to occur mass migrations. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Falcon Telemetry page from the DEP Falcon Page.
7/2/2014  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
On Friday, July 4th the streaming video will be discontinued for the 2014 season. DEP staff plan to offer streaming video for the 2015 nesting season beginning the first week in February 2015.
6/10/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The morning of Saturday, June 7th the black-banded male was discovered dead on a low roof below the nest ledge. This fledgling impacted some portion of the building, likely a window or skylight. These hazards have been a significant mortality factor over the past 15 years and are typical of urban nest sites.



The other three fledges are doing well, getting flight lessons from the adults. This includes in-flight food transfers providing them with the challenge of attaining food with reliance on their own flight skills.

6/5/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The red-banded female was rescued from a glass enclosed balcony yesterday afternoon and released from the roof of the building. All four of the fledges are now flying to and from nearby buildings. Soon, they'll get advanced flight lessons from the adults.
6/3/2014  ::   What's Next?
The fledglings will remain in the area for 4 to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, then flight and hunting lessons, leading to complete independence. Activity at the ledge will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor, the habitat type that lead breeding adults to this location over 15 years ago.
6/3/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
All four of the eyases have taken their first flight. Early this morning, the red-banded female attempted her first airborne adventure. An adventure it was too; she landed on the sidewalk in front of the building where she was promptly rescued and placed on top of the building. The 2014 Rachel Carson brood of four are now referred as fledglings. This is one of the most critical times in their young lives. The highest mortality at a nest site occurs within the first week of fledging. Watch and rescue crews have proven once again that this annual vigil is well worth the time and effort involved to safeguard this endangered raptor.
5/30/2014  ::   Fledging Update
Early this morning, the green-banded male made his first flight landing on a lower ledge of the Rachel Carson Building. After a few more short flights, the male landed on the Aberdeen Street sidewalk. He's was rescued, examined and released onto the building's roof.



The black-banded male made some short flights and now is on a ledge of the neighboring Harrisburg University Building.



The Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers are keeping a close eye on the young fledges.

5/29/2014  ::   Eyases Nearly Ready to Take Flight!
At 6:15 PM last evening, May 28th the black-banded male eyas fledged prematurely, catching a gust of wind while wing-flapping at the edge of the nest ledge. He was rescued by afterhours watch and rescue volunteers and taken to the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. This eyas and his siblings are not quite ready to fledge on their own yet but will be within several days. At this point in their young lives, they are most vulnerable and watch and rescue activities can play a key role in their survival.
5/15/2014  ::   Banding Results
Based on Game Commission banding results, we have two female and two male eyases in this years' brood. All four were examined and appear to be in good health.



Why do we band peregrine falcons?



Biologists place an alphanumeric metal band around the left leg each of the eyases with a falcon-specific code. The band code will be used by wildlife officials to monitor the birds once they leave the nest. In addition, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife band is placed on the eyases' right leg registering each on a federal banding database.



Band code reporting can inform wildlife managers as to how far peregrines migrate, where they establish breeding territory, over-wintering behavior, how long they live and causes of mortality.



Here are some outcomes revealed by banding efforts at the RCSOB:



The original breeding adult female appeared at the Rachel Carson State Office Building (RCSOB) in 1999. She was identified by her band code. By viewing the number on the band on her leg (4/4), officials were able to trace her origin to a nest on the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia. She was banded in 1998. She was the first falcon produced on a bridge in Pennsylvania to be rediscovered at a nest site.



The original male was not banded so his origin and age were unknown. This male was injured in 2003 and wildlife managers deemed him unable to survive in the wild so reuniting him with 4/4 was not an option. After five weeks the female seemed resigned to the fact that he would not return. She bonded with another male. This male was banded on the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003.



Several of Rachel Carson's young falcons have reportedly been nesting in Ohio, Delaware and other locations in Pennsylvania. While their numbers are increasing, the Pennsylvania Game Commission still lists the peregrine falcons as an endangered species in the Commonwealth.

4/28/2014  ::   Young Peregrines Demand More Food
The adults are both actively hunting. The eyases are growing so rapidly that both of the adults must provide as much food as possible. They visit the nest site often to check on the eyases but only briefly and usually off-camera. All is well with the falcon family.
4/22/2014  ::   Fourth Egg Hatches!
Sometime overnight or early this morning, the last of the falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to four!
4/21/2014  ::   Three Nestings!
Yesterday, 4/20, three of the four eggs hatched!

For the last egg, look for white spots on it, which is an indication that the last hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.

4/17/2014  ::   First Hatch Soon
Based on the timing from the nesting season last year, we should expect the first hatch within a day or two. The female will move off the eggs occasionally for the male to take some incubation duties and to rotate the eggs. As this activity is happening we may see signs of pipping, or breaking out of the shell by a hatchling.
4/8/2014  ::   Update From the Nest Box
We can expect the first egg to hatch around the 20th of April. This female has been consistent within her reproductive cycle. The male has been hunting regularly and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/19/2014  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the fourth egg around 9:30 a.m. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/18/2014  ::   Three Eggs!
The female laid the second egg on Saturday, March 15th and the third on Monday, March 17th!
3/13/2014  ::   First Egg!
At around 5 p.m. yesterday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
3/10/2014  ::   First Egg Expected Soon!
We can expect the first egg to be laid sometime this week. The best estimate, based on last year's timeline, would be Wednesday or Thursday. The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She rotates her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/11/2014  ::   Live Streaming Begins Friday
This Friday, February 14th, three HD cameras will begin to chronicle activities at the nest ledge. The breeding pair at the Rachel Carson State Office Building fittingly renew their pair-bond around Valentine's Day annually.
2013
10/3/2013  ::   Still Image View
Due to system maintenence, there will be only one view at the ledge for the time being.
7/22/2013  ::   Video Streaming Ends/What's Next for the Juveniles?
The live stream video has ended for the 2013 season. The still image capture will be available year-round.



The juveniles have become confident in their flying and hunting abilities and will soon leave the area.

In the past, Rachel's young falcons have traveled hundreds of miles in all directions. They'll likely spend the fall near a migration corridor, often along the Eastern Seaboard, where the food supply is abundant. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Peregrine Falcon page and click on the Satellite Telemetry button. These pages chronicle the movements of two juveniles affixed with satellite transmitters before dispersing from the Rachel Carson nest in 2002.

6/28/2013  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
All four of the Peregrine Falcon juveniles are flying confidently and honing their hunting skills. They have been spending less time at the ledge so as to become more independent. At times they return for rest, at nightfall, for protection from the elements, or if they are hungry and have had an unsuccessful hunt. After fledging, juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. The adult falcons participate in their young's practice of flying and hunting, bringing them food if they have not been able to hunt their own, and even doing food drops to teach them how to dive. After these skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.
6/10/2013  ::   Fledge/Rescue Summary
The young male (yellow band) was the first to fledge, the morning of May 31st. The morning of June 1st, the largest of the brood (red band) fledged. It was a busy season for the watch and rescue crews as six rescues were undertaken. All four fledges are flying strong at this point. The adults have been observed with the juveniles delivering food in flight and giving advanced flying lessons.
6/5/2013  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledges were at the ledge this morning. They have since been seen at various perches around the city. Milk crates were placed inside the 16th floor balcony in case they land inside again and get trapped, they can hop out to the railing.
6/3/2013  ::   Blue Banded Female Released
The blue-banded female was returned onto the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building after being released from the wildlife rehabilitator around 11 a.m. The female has taken a few short flights to the nearby buildings and is doing okay. She was rescued by the Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteer crew on Saturday, June 1st.
6/3/2013  ::   All falcons fledged
On the morning of Friday, May 31st, the yellow-banded male was the first fledge. After a few short flights, he landed inside a balcony on the 16th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. He was later rescued and released onto the roof.

Over the weekend, the blue-banded female was rescued and taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center because of exhaustion and dehydration. She has recovered and will be released onto the building later today.

The other falcons--white-band and red-band are making short flights around the building. DEP Environmental Education staff, interns and volunteers are coordinating the Falcon Watch and Rescue Program.

5/23/2013  ::   Banding Results
There are three females, one male. One of the females weighed in at 990 grams, the biggest we've ever banded at the Rachel Carson nest. They all had a physical exam and none showed any signs of disease, parasite infestation or injury.
5/13/2013  ::   Banding Event
The annual Peregrine Falcon banding event will be held Tuesday, May 21 at 1:00 PM in the Rachel Carson State Office Building Auditorium in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will be produced and live webcast by Commonwealth Media Services from the DEP Falcon Page. DEP is inviting teachers, with their students and non-formal educators to attend, through a pre-registration process. Biologists will weigh, examine and band the soon to be nearly four week old eyases.
5/1/2013  ::   Busy Birds
As the nestlings grow, their demand for food increases, keeping the male very busy. Soon, the nestlings will be feathered and developed enough that the female will hunt more regularly, typically bring back larger birds. It's all about biomass now and keeping up with the needs of the nestlings.
4/29/2013  ::   Full Brood of Four
Early on the morning of Tuesday, April 23rd the fourth chick hatched out. Because these four nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge. The next big event for the peregrines is the banding event, scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st at 1 PM.
4/22/2013  ::   Eggs Hatch!
Sometime between 2 and 3 PM on Saturday, April 20th, the first egg hatched. Early Sunday morning the second hatchling arrived. By Monday morning, April 22nd, three nestlings were being cared for by the adults. If viable, the fourth egg should hatch soon. This close hatch time among the nestlings is good news because they should compete for food without one or another being disadvantaged by being smaller and weaker than their nest-mates.
4/10/2013  ::   Incubation
Based on past reproductive timelines, we can expect the first egg to hatch around April 21st. The male seems to be very successful in hunting and providing for the female as she does most of the incubation. The male will do around one third of the incubation, allowing the female to hunt on her own, typically taking larger birds.
3/20/2013  ::   Egg Number Four
The fourth egg was observed in the nest around 8 AM this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch... within several days we'll know for certain. The female will do most of the incubation, as the male increases his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The female will hunt occasionally throughout the incubation period.
3/18/2013  ::   Three Eggs!
Sometime last night, the third egg arrived.

The adults now will incubate more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/15/2013  ::   2 eggs!
The female just laid second egg at about 2:37 p.m. today.
3/13/2013  ::   First Egg!
Late last night or early this morning, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid five days later than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/14/2013  ::   Live Streaming Video Begins!
The live stream video begins today! New HD cameras have been installed, providing a more crisp view of the fascinating behavior of Rachel's Peregrines. Activities at the ledge have been lighter this year. The peregrines have been spending more time away from the ledge. This may be because a ranging male has been persistent in his challenge to the resident male. There have been many intense battles at the ledge in recent weeks. Once this rivalry has been resolved, activity at the ledge should increase.
1/31/2013  ::   Still Image Issues
The still image capture is being handled by a new software program. Media staff are working to resolve problems that result in the image failing to refresh regularly.
2012
12/17/2012  ::   New Cameras Installed and Running
The new HD digital cameras have been installed. The still image capture is currently getting feed from one of three cameras. Later, networking hardware will be installed to bring the other two cameras into a viewing sequence, covering most of the ledge area. By the first week in February, the system should be ready for HD live stream broadcast.
11/28/2012  ::   Camera Upgrades
The cameras at the ledge will be replaced with new, state-of-the-art cameras to improve the image we provide for the 2013 nesting season. By Monday, December 3rd, the still image should be back on line.
8/8/2012  ::   Update from the Ledge
The live stream video has ended for the season. The still image capture is available year-round. The adult pair has been spending time together at the ledge and throughout the city. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good.
7/17/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Both of the adults have been at the ledge. This is a firm indication that the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The new female has been laying and rotating in the scrape. This behavior seems to be practice for the next nesting season which will get underway early in February of 2013.
6/22/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledglings have been sighted at various locations away from the nest ledge and occasionally visit the ledge briefly. They seem to have no interest in returning to the ledge. It is likely that the adult male is still flying with them and giving them advance hunting lessons. By the end of June, they should set out on their first long journey.
6/13/2012  ::   News from the Nest Ledge!
The new adult female falcon has been in the scrape with the male apparently pair-bonding.

She is a large falcon from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA, and was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

6/7/2012  ::   Female Falcon Update
This afternoon, an adult female peregrine was observed on the ledge. The female is banded. Based upon her alphanumeric band codes, she is from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA. She was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

Both fledges are doing well, and improving their hunting skills.

6/4/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
Both of the fledglings have been observed in flight, at times with the adult male, getting advance lessons. They are being fed at the ledge occasionally. They have reached to the point now where they are capable of receiving in-flight food exchanges. They're developing their skills rapidly.

There have been no reported sightings of any other adult peregrine appearing at or near the ledge.

5/29/2012  ::   Significant Happenings!
There is much to report on activities at the nest ledge over the holiday weekend. On Saturday, May 26th at 6:48 AM, the blue-banded eyas became a fledgling. His first attempt at flight resulted in a rescue from a low roof where a skylight prevented him from taking another attempt at flight. He was placed on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building and has been flying well since. At 7:25 AM on Memorial Day, the red-banded eyas flew and returned to the ledge. Today, the red-banded fledgling was rescued from the street after a precarious flight from a nearby treetop. The fledgling was returned to the nest ledge.

Thursday and Friday of last week the adult male seemed to be exhibiting attraction behavior, that is, he was sending notice to any passing female that he's available. Friday at 6:25 PM, a female arrived at the nest ledge and flew away. She has been spotted sporadically since the original sighting. Whether or not she is banded remains to be determined.

5/25/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday, just after 6AM, the red-banded eyas was swept off the ledge by a gust of wind as he flapped his wings. He was rescued from a nearby ally and returned to the ledge. At this age the eyases aren't quite ready to fly but they have the ability to make clumsy, relatively light landings. Volunteers are watching the young birds all day long from this point until they fledge and successfully return to the ledge. The adult male is doing a great job providing for the eyases on his own as there is still no sign of the adult female.

The eyases are very mobile on the ledge now and are sometimes completely out of camera view. They're spending time on a small ledge opposite the radius column behind the scrape.

5/22/2012  ::   Update on Rachel's Falcons
Despite daily search efforts, the adult female has not been located. The male has been providing food for the eyases. He is also a very good teacher. After the eyases make their first attempt at flight, he'll provide the fledges with flight and hunting lessons. We'll be observing the progress of the fledges and rescue them if they make any bad landings.
5/17/2012  ::   Falcon Sightings
The adult resident female has sustained an injury or disease that has rendered her unable to effectively hunt, feed herself and the eyases. The male has redoubled his hunting activities and is providing for the eyases. DEP staff has been trying to locate the female in hopes of live capturing her for treatment at a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center. Any information on her whereabouts would be appreciated. The female is one third larger than the male and is not banded. The male is banded. Falcon watchers can report information via the falcon page email account or call DEP's Environmental Education Center at 717 772-1828.
5/11/2012  ::   Banding Results
This year we have two male eyases- one weighs 560g, the other 590g. They're both in good health. The banding event seems to awaken the eyases to the fact that they can get out of the scrape and explore the nest ledge. This is critical to their physical development. They will begin building the strength and agility that will be necessary for them to attempt their first flight, which should happen in a few short weeks.
5/8/2012  ::   Banding Event
The banding event will be live webcast at 1 PM, tomorrow May 9th. Over 150 students, teachers and youth groups will be in attendance. Many of the teachers who will arrive with their students also attended a falcon teacher workshop here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building on April 3rd. This year we'll have two nestlings. They'll be weighed, examined and the sex will be determined before leg bands are attached. These bands will provide for an individual signature that identifies the birds when they fledge, disperse and seek out their own nesting territories.
4/30/2012  ::   Egg Update
There will be two nestlings banded at the May 9th banding event. Last year, one chick hatched for a total of three young produced at the nest over two years. This female was very young last year, and typically young peregrine females will lay eggs that are not viable. Even with adult females, one of four eggs not viable is not unusual. So there is reason for optimism in the sense that this pair has doubled the number of nestlings this year and as she matures, this female should produce eggs with a greater hatch success rate. The unhatched eggs in the nest will be added to the eggs from last year's nesting season and submitted for testing.
4/17/2012  ::   Two Hatchlings!
Yesterday afternoon, two of the chicks began to pip out of their egg shells. By early this morning, two hatchlings appeared from under the brooding female. They have been fed and appear to be active and healthy. From this point on, the adults will no longer be bored, incubating 24-7. Instead, they will be actively hunting most of the day to provide for the rapidly growing eyases.
4/16/2012  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon!
Based on past incubation periods, we can expect the first egg to hatch soon. The female is exhibiting behavior that would suggest this as well. Some of the eggs have white spots on them, also an indication that the first hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/15/2012  ::   Fourth Egg!
Around 7 AM this morning, the female falcon laid her fourth egg. We'll have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/13/2012  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg was laid at around 5 PM yesterday, March 12th. The female appears to be on her normal reproductive cycle.
3/12/2012  ::   Second Egg Arrives!
The second egg was laid at 6:26 AM, Saturday, March 10th. Thanks to all who emailed, reporting the time the egg was first observed.

The adults will incubate these two eggs only occasionally- when the third egg is laid, more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first two hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/8/2012  ::   First Egg of the Season!
The female exhibited egg laying behavior, late in the afternoon yesterday. This morning, we have the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid three days earlier than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/27/2012  ::   Nesting Season Well Underway
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. The male has been observed bringing food offerings to the female and breeding activity appears to be normal. There have been reports of conflicts in the sky, possibly the unbanded male returning to challenge the resident male. At this point, it is likely that the resident male and female will drive off any interlopers. Their bond is strong and their territory is mutually valued and defended.
1/24/2012  ::   Improved Camera Coverage
A third camera has put into the scan sequence to better cover activity at the nest ledge. As far as we know at this point there are still two males competing for breeding male dominance. Any activity observed from this point on is critical in determining how this nesting season will play out. The adult female is not banded. The new male is not banded. The resident male is banded and is somewhat smaller than the new male. DEP staff are observing the birds, as time allows, in order to identify subtle differences in plumage and markings among the three peregrine falcons.
1/19/2012  ::   Breaking News on the Resident Male!
The resident male, band code W/V, has reclaimed his territory! He was spotted at the ledge this afternoon in the company of the adult female. No sightings today of the unbanded male. It remains to be determined whether or not there was a territorial battle between the males or if this just sets the stage for a battle. Males at this nest site have had the habit of leaving the area for a week or two and then returning. Breeding activity typically takes place at this time of year so if the battle has not happened, it will likely happen soon. Any information that falcon watchers can provide about the behavior of these birds is of great value to DEP education staff monitoring the site. Information can be reported to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link below the web image window on the DEP falcon page.
2011
12/28/2011  ::   News From the Nest Ledge
A new male peregrine has been visiting the nest ledge since the first week in November. This bird is not banded and appears to be somewhat larger and younger than the resident male. The resident male peregrine was last seen in conflict with the new male on November 30th. The new male has since made food offerings to the female and they appear to be pair-bonding. It is likely that the new male was successful in his challenge for the nest site and resident female. The resident male may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what we can expect for the 2012 nesting season.
7/14/2011  ::   Fledgling and Video Streaming Update
The fledgling is reportedly still visiting the ledge regularly. We can assume that he is also getting advanced hunting lessons and is hunting on his own as well. Soon, he should become completely independent and begin his first year journey to places unknown.

The live stream video is scheduled to end tomorrow, July 15th 2011.

7/6/2011  ::   Update
The fledgling has been observed returning to the ledge most evenings. He should soon become completely independent. The adults are seldom seen at the ledge because they're probably still giving the fledgling hunting lessons. The new adult female may remain here throughout the remainder of summer, and possibly the fall and winter, as the original female did. Or, she may spend the winter elsewhere. This is all conjecture at this point because territorial behavior varies among individual breeding peregrines.
6/6/2011  ::   Fledge/Watch and Rescue Summary
The 2011 Falcon Watch and Rescue Program for the one fledgling Peregrine Falcon nesting on the 15th Floor of Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was extremely exciting and successful. The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) official volunteer Falcon Watch and Rescue Program was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 31st, with more than 15 individuals volunteering to observe the fledglings who worked in two-hour shifts from approximately 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.



However, our one-and-only fledgling decided to take his first flight a little earlier than expected, fledging around 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 27th. DEP called off the Falcon Watch and Rescue that was scheduled for May 31st - June 3rd, but the weekend and afterhours volunteer coordinators arranged volunteers to watch throughout the Memorial Holiday Weekend.



This year no falcon rescues took place! Throughout the week, the adult falcons encouraged the fledgling to take flight by enticing him with food while performing "fly-bys". In order to prepare for flight, the juvenile falcon would strengthen his wings by flapping and running from one end of the ledge to the other. He also had some practice take-offs by running, jumping and flapping his wings at the same time.





On Friday, May 27th, the silver-banded male fledged at approximately 9:00 a.m. and landed on top of the Strawberry Square Building. He relaxed there for about 10 minutes then attempted his next flight towards the 333 Market Street. He wasn't strong enough, however, to gain the height to the top, so the adult female guided him to the top of the Rachel Carson Building. Within an hour of this first take off from the ledge, he was back on the ledge again to rest.



After his first flight, he continued to hone his flying skills by making short flights to buildings surrounding the Rachel Carson Building. Some of the most frequently visited locations included the Pennsylvania Department of Education building located at 333 Market Street, Strawberry Square, and the Forum Place Building.



By Wednesday, June 1st, DEP concluded its 2011 Flacon Watch and Rescue Program. At that time, it was determined that the fledgling had improved his flying skills enough to maneuver safely and return to the 15th floor ledge.

5/31/2011  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledgling has been seen flying with both of the adults, seemingly getting flying lessons. He's getting stronger each day. Soon, he should get hunting lessons. This involves the adults transferring food in-flight and then assisting the fledgling in pursuit of prey. He seems to be on a fast track to independence. We expect him to gain full independence within five weeks. Then, he will likely leave the area traveling to unknown destinations. To learn more about this behavior, click on the Falcon Telemetry link on the DEP Falcon Page to view telemetry points and dates posted from the 2002 study.
5/27/2011  ::   The Fledge!
The little male ran the length of the ledge and took flight at 9:15 AM. He landed on nearby building. Within 15 minutes he was on top of the Rachel Carson State Office Building, his home building. Soon after, he returned to the nest ledge where he was rewarded with a meal. This fledgling now holds the record for earliest fledge and quickest return to the ledge. Watch and rescue crews will continue to track his whereabouts and ensure that if he gets into trouble they can respond and keep him out of harm's way.
5/26/2011  ::   Nestling Update
The eyas has been really active at the nest ledge. He's exhibiting behavior that suggests he may fledge prematurely. Watch and rescue crews are watching him closely in case he does fly and would have to be rescued from the street. The camera views, although not very appealing, provide the best view of the edges of the ledge where the eyas would take flight from. Our first priority is to have this view on streaming video so we can react if and when he does fledge.
5/19/2011  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, there is only one nestling at the ledge. Based on weight(660 grams)and the diameter of the legs the nestling was determined to be a male. The banding team placed an alphanumeric band on the nestling with characters large enough to read with binoculars and another US Fish and Wildlife band with a code that can be read with the bird in hand. The nestling was in good health. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight this young bird will take. He should fledge in about two weeks.
5/16/2011  ::   Banding Event Tomorrow
The banding event for 2011 will take place tomorrow, May 17th at 1 PM. The nestling appears to be in good health though it will get a thorough physical examination at the event. More than 170 students, teachers and volunteers will view the event live at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will also be live webcast through streaming video. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/26/2011  ::   Hatch Update
The remaining eggs in the scrape have had little incubation so it's likely we'll have only one nestling this season. We think this new female is very young and as such it's not unusual for her to lay infertile eggs. This may actually be good in the sense that she'll have less pressure in giving flight and hunting lessons to this nestling when it fledges than if the full clutch had hatched. Looking back to the 2000 season, mortality of the fledglings was high (75%) perhaps due to the inexperience of 4/4, the original Rachel Carson female in training the fledges to attain the skills necessary to reach independence.
4/20/2011  ::   First Hatch!
At 5:30 PM last evening, viewers noticed that one of the four eggs showed signs of "pipping out". By this morning, the first hatchling of the season had arrived. This nestling will get regular feedings as will the others when they hatch out.
4/13/2011  ::   First Hatch Expected Soon
The first hatch of the season is expected to happen the week of April 18th. The new female's reproductive clock appears to be around 9 days earlier than the original female. This will result in the earlier scheduling of key activities as well. The banding event will take place on Tuesday, May 17th and the watch and rescue activities will begin on Tuesday, May 31st.
3/30/2011  ::   Harrisburg Offspring Discovered at Nest!
The green-banded female from the 2009 nesting season has claimed her own nesting territory. This female was the largest of four females and one male banded on May 27th 2009. Her band codes were confirmed by falcon watchers on March 6th. She displaced an established female at a bridge scrape near Rocky River Metro Parks in Brookpark, Ohio, a few miles south of Cleveland. The site is close to Cleveland Hopkins Airport and the entranceway to NASA. No reports yet of eggs in the nest but there have been many sightings of breeding activity. The Harrisburg watch and rescue crews should be commended here because if not for their efforts in rescuing this female from the street several days after fledging, she may not have survived.
3/18/2011  ::   Egg Number Four!
Early this morning, the fourth egg arrived. This may be the full clutch, but we have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/16/2011  ::   Third Egg!
Now that there are three eggs in the nest, incubation time will increase. We can also now begin to estimate the date of the first hatch. With an average incubation time if 34 days, we can expect the first hatch to take place the third week in April.
3/14/2011  ::   Second Egg!
The second egg was delivered early Sunday morning, March 13th. Typically, a full clutch would have three to five eggs. The previous female would consistently lay five eggs to complete the clutch. Both of the adults will spend long hours hunting so the female can meet her nutritional needs during egg development. Soon, the hunting duties will shift primarily to the male, as the female spends more time incubating the eggs.
3/11/2011  ::   First Egg!
This morning at 9:30 an egg was observed in the scrape. The new female was eight days earlier, on average than her predecessor, 4/4 in delivering the first egg of the season. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins. From all indications, this female is very young. As such, it will be difficult to say with any certainty that this year will be as productive as past nesting seasons but it will certainly be interesting to watch and find out.
2/17/2011  ::   Video Streaming Begins
The live stream video web hosting has begun for the 2011 season. What's new for this nesting season? Most significantly, there is a new female in the nest. She arrived the first week in September of last year. The second week in September, an employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challengers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out their own nesting territory. For more on the life and legacy of the original female, click on the Falcon Stories link on the DEP Falcon Page.



The new female is not banded so her age and geographic origin cannot be determined. However, when she arrived, she sported a bit of rusty brown coloring, an indication that she was emerging from juvenile plumage. In terms of predicting the date the first egg will arrive, all bets are off. In order to provide the best chance to view the laying of the first egg, the camera will be fixed on the nest box from now until the nestlings begin moving out of the box.

2/7/2011  ::   Rachel's Falcons Begin 2011 Nesting Season
Falcon watchers have reportedly seen breeding activities at the nest ledge. DEP Environmental Education staff are preparing for another season of outreach and education on endangered species reintroduction with Rachel's falcons as the focal point. We're currently seeking approval to contract for the live streaming video (more on this later) and the annual teacher workshop is set for April 12th, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
2010
9/14/2010  ::   There's a New Female in Town!
For the past two weeks there has been a lot of activity at and near the nest ledge. Recently, a new adult female falcon has been seen bonding with the male. The origin of this female is unknown as she is not banded. Email information from web viewers indicates that the resident female is no longer at the ledge. An employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challenging interlopers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out nesting territory. Any information that web viewers care to share would be appreciated. For now, we have set two close camera views at the nest box and perch for observation purposes.
7/21/2010  ::   Blue Band Loses Battle with Trichomoniasis
Due to the trichomoniasis infection, blue lost weight and became more susceptible to secondary infections. He had intestinal parasites, which cleared up with medication, and other secondary infections. He lost weight, and never returned to his weight at the age of banding. His feather development was retarded, and he was not preening himself properly. All of these are the consequences of the initial trich infection. It is indeed a nasty disease. As a result of these conditions, euthanizing became the necessary course of action.
7/13/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
Previously, we reported that the fledges may have dispersed from the area. Viewer emails have indicated that they are still around. Here is information provided by an avid viewer:

"All the birds pretty much are off the ledge & hunkered down somewhere staying cool during the heat of the day, but early every morning the adults can be seen on the ledge, & in the evening, not only can you see the adults, but the kids as well. I've seen the parents on the ledge every day & at least one juvenile every day".

7/9/2010  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 16th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/9/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Will Be Down
The Falcon Cam will be down on Tuesday, July 13th in the morning. Viewers should be able to watch the live Falcon Cam in the afternoon.
7/1/2010  ::   Updates
For the Latest Updates Click on the Falcon Wire News Button
6/30/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
One of the fledges spent several hours resting on the ledge today. With a close camera angle we were able to get a good look at him and he looked fine. The adult male was perched above him on one of the camera housings. Now, they are out together, engaged in flight/hunting lessons. Earlier today, the adult female was spotted doing the same with the other fledge. Blue's condition continues to improve although not at the pace we would like to see. All in all Rachel's falcons are doing fine.
6/24/2010  ::   Update on Blue
The infections/parasites are gone. He's improving daily.

He will not be released here at the Rachel Carson Building-he's not ready. Feather development is still slow and weight is still down. He's not preening, so his flight feathers are slow to come in. Eventually, we would like to release him, but there is no guarantee he'll fully recover. If he does, the release may occur this Fall or Spring of 2011. He will get flying and hunting lessons while in rehabilitation.

6/16/2010  ::   Blue
Blue has gained a little more weight; he now weighs 540 grams. However, he is also being treated for parasites and a secondary protozoan infection. Because of these conditions it is best to keep him in wildlife rehabilitation. The more time that passes, the less likely it is he'll be released to the ledge. If later, he does recover fully, he may be released at another nest site where nestlings are fledging later. If he does not develop 100% strength and vitality he may remain in captivity for educational purposes.
6/11/2010  ::   Fledgling Activity
From yesterday's after hours watch and rescue reports, white took two flights last evening. Today he is perched high on a nearby building. Red has visited the ledge often and continues to investigate rooftops throughout the city. These two fledges should begin their flight/hunting lessons soon.
6/10/2010  ::   The Latest on Blue
Blue will not be released to the ledge this week. Yesterday, his weight was 510 grams. The wildlife rehabilitator would like to get his weight up to 600 grams before considering the release. In addition, his feather development is delayed. We'll keep viewers updated on his progress.
6/9/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
White has remained on the ledge since he was rescued from a boxed in low rooftop yesterday morning. The adults are withholding food from him at this point so that he'll take flight again. Then, many of the food transfers will take place in flight. Red is on top of a nearby building. He's been taking some good strong flights the past two days. Blue should return from wildlife rehab tomorrow or Friday to be released on the nest ledge.
6/8/2010  ::   The Latest News
Red had a good flight from the roof and is on the nest ledge now. The rehabilitator would like blue's feathering to develop a little more before release. We're planning to return blue to the ledge Thursday or Friday of this week.
6/7/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
The two males fledged yesterday from the ledge. From all accounts, the white banded male fledged first at around 9:30 AM. He ended up near the street were he was rescued and placed on the roof of the building. Just after 1 PM white flew from the building and landed on the sidewalk, where again he was rescued. The red banded fledge took his first flight later in the morning. He remained on a low, boxed in rooftop until today at 3:30 PM when he was rescued and placed on the roof. The goal for the fledglings now will be to return to the ledge. There are two teams of watchers keeping an eye on them.



The blue banded male taken for treatment has recovered to the extent the rehabilitator would like to return him to the ledge soon. Thanks to the weekend watch and rescue crew for rescuing white after first flight attempt and briefing DEP staff on these happenings this morning.

6/1/2010  ::   Blue-Banded Male Update
This afternoon, officials from the Game Commission successfully retrieved the blue-banded male falcon that was taken by a wildlife rehabilitator for treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the ledge. The other two eyasses were treated as a precaution and returned to the ledge.
6/1/2010  ::   Update about Blue-Banded Male
At the time of banding, signs of the trichomoniasis (trich) infection were observed in the blue-banded male. The eyas was treated with the recommended dose of antibiotic by the Game Commission's Art McMorris. Trichomoniasis is a fairly widespread infection in young raptors. After careful observation, and in response to public notification that he is not responding well, the Game Commission has decided to retrieve the eyas so that it can be re-examined and, if necessary, treated more extensively off-site by a veterinarian until he is ready to be returned to the nest. The other two eyasses, which did not show signs of trich, will be re-examined as well. Infections, parasites and other maladies are a "fact of life" in wild animals, and we are fortunate that we can give this peregrine the benefit of medical attention.
5/27/2010  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, all of the nestlings are males. The banding team placed colored tape on the nestlings for the purpose of keeping track of them when they fledge. The largest of them, at 690 grams, is sporting white tape; the smallest, at 550 grams, blue and the middle sized nestling, at 590 grams, has red tape. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight these young birds will make. They should begin fledging in about two weeks.
5/26/2010  ::   Banding Event
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM tomorrow, May 27 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 180 students and teachers will be in attendance. Visit the DEP Website at www.depweb.state.pa.us to view the banding event.
5/11/2010  ::   Brood Complete
This year, there is a full brood of three nestlings. Last year and in 2006 there were five. In eight of the nine previous years the brood numbered four. In 2005, there was a full brood of three nestlings. The adult female at this nest site is now 12 years old. It is not unusual for a breeding bird of this age to lay one or two infertile eggs. The birds cannot be disturbed at this critical time so the remaining infertile egg will be retrieved after the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The real work now begins for the adult pair. They will have to hunt continuously to keep up with their rapidly growing brood.
5/7/2010  ::   Status of Eggs
One of the two remaining eggs was broken sometime overnight. There is one unhatched egg remaining. Since there was yolk in the broken egg, it most likely was infertile, or at least, any embryo had little development. If the other egg is not viable, it will begin to decay, and will be vulnerable to breaking under the process of decomposition.
5/6/2010  ::   Status of Unhatched Eggs?
To date, the two remaining eggs have not yet hatched. In past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see what happens. By this weekend, hopefully we'll see the hatches.
5/3/2010  ::   Three Eggs Hatched!
The second egg reportedly hatched around noon on Saturday, May 1st. The third egg hatched early this morning, May 3rd, sometime before dawn. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the fourth egg hatches.
4/29/2010  ::   First Egg Hatched!
Around 2:45 p.m. today, the first Peregrine Falcon nestling, called an eyas, hatched out of its egg. The young falcon used an egg tooth on its beak to break through the shell. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the next egg hatches.
4/27/2010  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon
We expect the first egg to hatch the end of this week or into the weekend. The hatchlings will take food shortly after emerging from the egg. When all of the eggs have hatched, the adults will have to hunt and provide food for the nestlings for the following eight weeks as they grow and develop. Even after fledging in June, the young birds will be dependent on the adults to deliver food in-flight until the fledges attain independence.
4/13/2010  ::   Email Notification
If you are signed up on our educator database and have requested email notification about big events and happenings related to the falcons, this message is for you- The next big happening will be the hatching of the first egg, around the end of April to the first day or two in May. Viewers who want to catch this kind of action should visit the Falcon Page often and may also follow the falcons on Twitter- click on the Twitter link on the Falcon Page. To help anticipate when these big things will happen, click on the Falcon Wire News link and read the updates from the 2009 nesting season.
4/8/2010  ::   Juvenile Female Claims New Territory
The red-band coded female that fledged from the Rachel Carson State Office Building two years ago has been spotted at a nest site in Wilmington, Delaware; she may be responsible for killing the resident female and taking over the scrape.

This female was banded on May 22nd 2008 and weighed 795 g, the largest of the four nestlings banded that day. The Rachel Carson female and her mother, the nesting female at the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia from 1998 until 2005 are know to biologist as intensely aggressive and territorial. These traits have clearly been passed on to their progeny.

To see the young female at her new scrape, visit http://www.dosbirds.org/wilmfalcons

3/30/2010  ::   Egg Number Five!
Shortly after noon today, March 30th, the fifth egg arrived. This is probably the full clutch. From this point until the eggs hatch around the end of April, the male will be the primary hunter, providing food for the female. He will also incubate the eggs about 30% of the incubation period. After hatching, up until the eyases fledge in the middle of June, both of the adults will rely on their hunting skills to provide for a rapidly growing family. The abundance of migrating and resident birds in the area will be key to the success of the falcon nesting season here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
3/29/2010  ::   Egg Number Four!
Sometime after nightfall on Saturday, March 27th and 11:20 AM on the 28th the fourth egg arrived. This could be the full clutch or as in the past three years, the full clutch may end up numbering five.
3/25/2010  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg arrived sometime in the early morning of March 25th. One or two more will probably complete the clutch.
3/23/2010  ::   Second Egg!
Early this morning, March 23rd, the female Peregrine Falcon laid the second egg. As the clutch grows, the adults will begin brooding for longer periods of time. This progressive brooding behavior allows the eggs to hatch at close intervals. The male and female will share brooding duties; the male will sit 30 to 40 percent of the entire time it takes to hatch the full clutch.
3/22/2010  ::   First Egg!
The first egg was laid at approximately 8:15 AM on Saturday, March 20th. We can expect the next to arrive very soon. This egg will get very little incubation as the even growth and development of the eyases is a very important factor in nest production; more to follow on this later.
3/18/2010  ::   First Egg Expected Soon
Rachel's female falcon should lay the first egg of the season within the next few days. She is expected to lay 4 to 5 eggs. The first two eggs will get little incubation time. After the third egg, incubation time is increased. When the clutch is full, incubation is constant. The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female does most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The camera angles will now be set for close views into the scrape.
3/11/2010  ::   Camera Angles
Soon the cameras will be set to view inside the nest box. For now the most interesting activities are seen at the current camera compositions. The southeast corner of the ledge and the perching post are habitual hangouts for these birds. Breeding activity often takes place on the southeast corner as well.
3/9/2010  ::   Eggs Before Easter
The first egg of the season should arrive within two weeks time. Last year the first egg arrived on the 21st of March. The adult female has been within two to three days on this egg-laying schedule for the past ten years. For the past four years the female has laid a full clutch of five eggs. Egg production is directly related to nutrition, the availability of food and the ability of a healthy breeding pair to attain and metabolize it. The happy irony is that this is an ongoing tribute to Rachel Carson and her work- most notably the 1962 book Silent Spring. Peregrine falcons have made their home on the fifteenth floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years.
2/4/2010  ::   Male Peregrine Returns!
At 1:25 PM today, February 4, 2010 the Rachel Carson male peregrine was spotted on the southeast corner of the ledge. This ends his long absence from the ledge and renews expectations for another successful nesting season.
1/27/2010  ::   Adult Male Sightings
Typically this pair of peregrines can be found spending much of their time together this time of year. The female has been seen frequently at the ledge, the male has not been spotted for some time. This male does tend to wander for long periods of time and possibly at great distances. If he is not with this female the first week in February we can speculate that something may have happened to him. In any case, web cam viewers are urged to email via the Contact DEP link to report peregrine sightings at the ledge. The male is one third smaller than the female and has been known to perch on top of one of the camera housings to the left of the orange column on the wide camera view of the ledge.
1/11/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Image Down for Maintenance
The still image capture will be down for hardware maintenance tomorrow, January 12th through Thursday, January 14th. Viewers should be able to see images at the ledge again Friday morning.
2009
7/22/2009  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 24th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/22/2009  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
There has been no confirmed sighting of the yellow banded female over the past three days. In order for the Game Commission to assist her she would have to regularly visit a known roosting site. If we can get reliable information about such a site, a live capture may be attempted. The adult male and female have been observed resting for long periods of time. This is an indication that the juveniles have moved out of the area. They may return sporadically over the next few weeks but soon they'll be completely independent.
7/17/2009  ::   Yellow Injured
The yellow banded female has sustained injuries that could be life threatening. The lower beak is badly injured and one eye appears to be injured as well. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. The Game Commission is considering a live capture of the fledgling to determine if the injuries can be treated. Any falcon watchers who know of yellow's favorite perches and or behavior patterns that may help in locating the fledgling should post this information to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link on the Falcon Page.
6/25/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The four surviving fledglings are doing well. They have been seen taking flight from the nest ledge to their seemingly favorite food drop perches. The new Harrisburg University for Science and Technology has been a favorite haunt for the fledges. The building has many wide ledges at different levels providing easy access for the birds and great viewing for University staffers. As we move through June and into July there will be less happening at the nest ledge. For the falcon watchers on the street the action has just begun. The birds are getting flight and hunting lessons from both of the adults. Soon they will take their show on the road and fly with the fledges up and down the Susquehanna River Corridor. These corridors are not only watercourses to the Sea but also bird migration pathways and will forever signal prime feeding and breeding habitat to the Peregrine Falcon.
6/15/2009  ::   The Latest on the Fledglings
The blue-banded female fledged on Saturday. She was rescued on Sunday and placed on the roof. All four of the surviving fledglings are now doing well and getting flight lessons from the adults.
6/12/2009  ::   Fledgling News
The blue-banded female remains on the nest ledge. She appears to be in good health. She is probably the youngest and is taking her good time before fledging. The green-banded female was rescued from the street last evening and released on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building- she returned to the ledge this morning. The yellow and red-banded females continue to take short flights back and forth from lower rooftops. The white-banded male has not been as fortunate. He was discovered injured along a nearby rail line this morning. Both of his legs were severely injured. He was transported to a nearby Wildlife Rescue Center where he will be euthanized.
6/11/2009  ::   Status of Fledglings
The yellow banded female was returned to us from wildlife rehabilitation and we released her on the roof around 2 PM. She took flight within a half hour and is doing okay. The red and green banded females have been observed taking short flights to lower building rooftops. The white banded male has not yet been located. The blue banded female is content for now to rest at the ledge; she'll fledge in her own time.
6/10/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The green banded female and the white banded male have fledged. Watch and rescue members are watching both of them as they take successive flights attempting to eventually return to the nest ledge. The yellow banded female has been held for further observation to ensure that she is 100 percent recovered before placing her on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building to take flight again. Taking off from the roof, above the nest ledge, provides a better chance for the fledglings to safely return to the nest ledge.
6/9/2009  ::   Update on Yellow Band
The yellow banded female is reportedly in good physical condition. After a final examination by a vet, she could be released this evening or tomorrow.
6/9/2009  ::   First Fledge!
The yellow banded female fledged at 6:45 this morning. She was rescued from a nearby street and sent to a wildlife rescue/rehabilitation center. Preliminary information indicated she may have an injured leg. We'll get an update and report on her condition this afternoon.
6/3/2009  ::   Update on the Eyases
The five young eyases have physically grown and developed considerably since the banding event on May 27th. Soon, they will make their first flight attempt, known as fledging. Beginning on Monday, June 8th, watch and rescue staff will track the activities of the eyases as they take to the air, one at a time until all have fledged. Although the larger eyases have had the advantage at feeding times, the smaller, more agile ones may have the advantage in flight. The little male (white band) has been running up and down the ledge all week. He's just waiting for his feathers to develop a little more before he makes his first attempt. At the other end of the spectrum, we see the largest female (green band) - she may not be as agile as the smaller birds and the watch and rescue team will watch her closely and respond if she ends up on the street or on one of the nearby parking garages. In any event, fledging is probably the most critical step in the life cycle of peregrines and success can help to ensure the long-term survival of these endangered raptors.
5/28/2009  ::   Banding Results
At the May 27th banding event, the PGC banded four female nestlings, one male. All five of the eyases were treated for mites; all are doing well. The watch and rescue program will begin on Monday, June 8th and run through the weekend or until all of the eyases have fledged and returned to the ledge.
5/6/2009  ::   Educators and Students Invited to Attend Peregrine Falcon Banding Event on May 27th




On Wednesday, May 27th, the Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Game Commission will host the annual Peregrine Falcon Banding Event at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, PA from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Teachers and their students, non-formal educators and youth organizations are invited to attend this event. Activities will include the weighing, examination and banding of the nestlings. There is no cost to attend the banding event.

To register for this event, please contact Ann Devine at 717 772-1644 or adevine@state.pa.us.

Since 1997, a pair of Peregrine Falcons have made their home on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg. The falcon pair has successfully reproduced since 2000, and this Spring, the female again laid a clutch of five eggs

5/4/2009  ::   All Five Eggs Hatched!
Over the weekend, the remaining two falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to five. The fourth egg hatched out at roughly 6:40 p.m. on Friday, May 1. The fifth egg hatched out some time overnight between Saturday night May 2 and early Sunday morning, May 3. This is the second time that all five eggs have hatched.
5/1/2009  ::   Three Have Hatched
The second egg reportedly hatched around 10 AM on Friday, May 1st. The third hatched around 1:30 PM, May 1st. The weather forecast is for cool, wet weather the entire weekend. The adults will continue to keep the chicks warm throughout this period to prevent hypothermia.
4/30/2009  ::   First Egg Hatched!
The first of the five eggs hatched mid-morning today. Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. Stay tuned throughout the weekend to see if all five eggs hatch.
4/29/2009  ::   Peregrine Chicks Should Hatch Soon!
Based on incubation periods recorded in past years we should expect the first egg to hatch on or around May first. In the past one of the five eggs has failed to produce a hatchling. It will be interesting to see what happens this year.

FalconWire Archives
2017
11/28/2017  ::   New Male Observed on Ledge
A new male peregrine has been visiting the nest ledge since last Friday. This bird is banded, band code 38/S, and appears to be larger and younger than the resident male. The new male was banded in 2010 on the McElhatten Bridge in Clinton County and visited the ledge in January.

The fourteen-year old resident male has a black over red striped leg band with "W/V" on it. He was last observed on Sunday, November 19th on the ledge. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings, photos and interactions would be of great value in determining what we can expect for the 2018 nesting season. Please email to ra-epfalcon@pa.gov .

9/8/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The rehabilitator and the veterinarian determined that the Blue-banded falcon will never fully develop, including the liver. These anomalies most likely occurred while this bird was still developing in its egg. Therefore, Blue cannot be released into the wild. At this point, the rehabilitator is in the process of locating a suitable home where the falcon can be used for educational purposes.
8/1/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The blue-banded falcon remains at the wildlife rehabilitation center. The falcon is flying well, but still undersized. "Blue" will be having additional x-rays to examine the falcon's liver development. At this point, it appears that "Blue" may become an educator's bird supporting endangered species outreach programs.
7/28/2017  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male stays in the area most of the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/22/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Today, the rehabilitator provided an update on "Blue", the young falcon that has yet to fledge. An X-ray was done and indicated that this bird's liver is underdeveloped. This may be the reason why it was so far behind in developing its flight feathers. At this point, releasing this young falcon at the Rachel Carson State Office Building is highly unlikely. Actually, there's no guarantee "Blue" will survive in captivity. Treatment with antibiotics is progressing well but only time and close monitoring will tell. "Blue" is scheduled for another X-ray in two months. If the liver issue stabilizes, then consideration will be given to "Blue's" future.
6/15/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Yesterday, the blue-banded falcon received an x-ray, and it was discovered the male has an underdeveloped liver, which may explain the slow growth and feather development. At this point, the final prognosis is unclear, the current plan is to continue observation to see if "Blue" can be returned to the wild or remain in captivity as an education bird.
6/14/2017  ::   Update on Blue-Banded Male Falcon
During a subsequent flight yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded male had a possible collision with a nearby building. The young falcon became grounded and was rescued. He currently is recovering at the Red Creek Wildlife Center.
6/13/2017  ::   Blue-Banded Male Released!
Today around 11 a.m., the blue-banded male returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the building's roof. He took off immediately flying exceptionally well. The adult falcons will bring the young male food and will teach flying and hunting skills.

Both "red" and "white" are spending more time in the air getting advanced flight and hunting lessons from the adults. The adults are teaching them to dive by doing food drops.

After fledging, the falcon juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. But, as their flying and hunting skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.

5/30/2017  ::   More Fledges!
The white-banded falcon fledged around 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 27th and is flying successfully.

Around 9:30 a.m. on May 27th, the blue-banded male fledged and collided with nearby buildings. The young male landed in the street and was subsequently rescued by the falcon watch and rescue volunteers. The volunteers transported "blue" to a nearby wildlife rehabilitator, and it is recovering from a concussion. Today's report from the rehabilitator suggests it will likely recover and may be returned to the building sometime soon.

White and red both are flying well and can be observed flying between taking short flights near the Rachel Carson State Office Building and receiving hunting lessons from the adults.

5/26/2017  ::   First Fledges!
Around 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 25th, the blue-banded male took an accidental first flight landing on the roof of a nearby building. On Friday morning, May 26th, the Environmental Education Center staff and interns recovered "Blue" and placed him on the nest ledge.

Around 11 a.m., the red-banded male took his first flight, successfully landing on the nearby Harrisburg University Building and other nearby buildings. Observers have reported that "Red" is flying well.

5/16/2017  ::   Banding Results
On May 10th, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one nestling of undetermined sex. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The first male weighed in at 585 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band the other male that weighed 595 grams; and white tape on the 585 gram nestling of undetermined sex. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
4/18/2017  ::   Three Nestlings!
Around 9:30 this morning, the second chick hatched out. Then, around 12:30 p.m., the third hatchling emerged. Because these three nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge.
4/17/2017  ::   First Hatch!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:00 p.m., the first egg hatched. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the second hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
4/4/2017  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Over the weekend, a small hole was observed one of the four eggs. The adult falcons are no longer incubating it, as it was pushed aside. This egg isn't viable, and it won't hatch. While disappointing, this is not unusual. If it is still intact during banding, the Pennsylvania Game Commission biologists will collect it for pesticide analysis.
3/15/2017  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 12th and the fourth egg this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure.
3/10/2017  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 12:25 p.m. today. The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on the ledge and nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/8/2017  ::   First Egg!
At around 8:16 a.m. today, March 8th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.

1/25/2017  ::   Breaking News From the Nest Ledge!
Since January 11th, a new male peregrine, band code 38/S, has been visiting the nest ledge and observed pair bonding with the resident female. This apparently larger bird was banded in 2010 on the McElhattan Bridge in Clinton County near Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The nearly 14 year-old resident male, band code W/V, was spotted back on the ledge yesterday. The male at this nest site often leaves the area for a week or two and then return when breeding activity typically resumes.

This morning, an unbanded female arrived on the ledge. Based upon observations from staff, there may have been a territorial battle between the females this morning. The resident female was later observed on the ledge, and so far, there are no reports of the unbanded female. It's possible that the challenger may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what to expect for the 2017 nesting season.

2016
10/5/2016  ::   Window Washing
Today, window washers will be cleaning the windows on the front side of the Rachel Carson Building. As an endangered species, building maintenance must be scheduled outside of the breeding season to avoid any disturbances to the nest.
7/29/2016  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The last report of the red-banded female was on June 28th, where she was observed eating on a nearby building and flying in the area. As far as we know she may be okay as no news is good news. The other fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male now stays in the area throughout the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/30/2016  ::   Red - Injured?
The red-banded female may have sustained injuries late last week. The beak and one eye may be injured. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. Any falcon cam watcher who observes red eating should email the date and time of feeding along with a photo, if possible, to ra-epfalcon@pa.gov. She has red tape over a silver leg band on her right leg and a black and green band, 83/BR, on her left leg.
6/13/2016  ::   Fledge Update
The three fledglings likely will remain in the area for another four to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, flight and hunting lessons, leading to their complete independence. While viewers can still watch some activity at the ledge, it will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor making longer and longer flights.
6/3/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Released!
Yesterday around noon, the red-banded female returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the 15th floor ledge. Today around 2 p.m., she took her first flight and seems to be doing well.

Both males are flying extremely well and learning advanced flight and hunting techniques, including the spectacular dive, called a stoop, where peregrines can reach speeds of more than 200 mph!

6/1/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Update - No Fractures!
Good news! The red-banded female, who was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center on Friday, does not have any fractures. She is flying in the flight cage among perches building strength. As long as she's fully recovered, she may be released onto the building later this week. The wildlife rehabilitator noted that red is very aggressive, an important survival characteristic for this wild peregrine's success.
5/31/2016  ::   News about Red-Banded Female and Fledging Update
On Friday, May 27th, an officer from the Harrisburg Police Department retrieved a grounded red-banded female. She was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center for examination and treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the building. We'll keep the viewers updated about her progress.

Both males are flying well and are receiving flight lessons from the adults. Soon they will start learning to hunt.

5/25/2016  ::   Fledging Update
On Monday, May 23rd, the white-banded male made the first flight around 3 p.m. He landed on the roof of the nearby train station. He was later rescued, examined and released to the roof. Yesterday, the blue-banded male fledged and safely landed on a lower roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
5/4/2016  ::   Banding Results
Yesterday, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one female. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The female weighed in at 715 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 535 gram male; white tape on another 535 gram male. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 23rd.
4/19/2016  ::   Update on the Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, the fourth egg did not hatch, and at this point, it is highly unlikely that it will. While this is discouraging, it is normal. However, the other three nestlings all seem to be feeding, growing and doing well!
4/18/2016  ::   Three Nestlings!
On Friday evening, the third nestling emerged around 7:30 p.m.

The fourth egg hasn't hatched, and at this point, it is unlikely that it will. While discouraging, this is normal. That said in past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see. The other three young falcons, called eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!

4/15/2016  ::   Eggs Hatching!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:10 p.m., the first egg hatched. Sometime overnight, the second egg hatched as well. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the third hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/29/2016  ::   Nest Box Update
The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days, so we can expect the first egg to hatch around mid-April. The male has been hunting regularly for both falcons and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/14/2016  ::   Fourth Egg!
On Saturday around 10 a.m., the fourth egg arrived!
3/10/2016  ::   Third Egg!
Early this morning before dawn, the female laid the third egg! We should start to see the female doing more incubation. Last year, the female laid four eggs, so we'll have to wait a day or two to see if she lays another egg.
3/8/2016  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg before dawn this morning! The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/7/2016  ::   First Egg!
At around 7:11 a.m. on Saturday, March 5th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the nest meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The camera angles now are set for close views into the scrape.

2/24/2016  ::   2016 Nesting Season Update
The adults have renewed their pair bond and are spending more time together at the nest ledge. Viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior and breeding activity. This courtship behavior includes vocal interactions, hunting skills, food offerings and spectacular displays of flight. The male does these acts seemingly to demonstrate his ability to be a good provider. The first egg should arrive around mid-March.

The male is entering his 13th year. He fledged from the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003. The nearly 7 year old female fledged from the PA/NJ Turnpike Bridge in Bucks County in 2009.

For more information, photos and updates, be sure to follow the falcons on Twitter and Instagram @falconchatter or on Flickr at falconchatter.

2/12/2016  ::   Live Feed of Harrisburg's Famous Peregrine Falcons Returns Just in Time for Valentine's Day
Love is in the air in Harrisburg as the city's famous pair of peregrine falcons have returned to their nest on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building just in time for Valentine's Day. To celebrate, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today launched a redesigned falcon website that features a high definition, three-camera live video feed of the nest that will now be streamed year-round. The site also provides more opportunities for people to interact through social media.

Valentine's Day is typically the time when the falcons renew their courtship behavior. The male will offer food to the female and put on a spectacular display of flight and hunting skills, all to impress her and prove his ability to be a good provider. There also is some vocal interaction at the nest.

"Providing a live feed of the peregrine falcons has helped to teach a generation of Pennsylvania school students and the public about the connection between wildlife and our environment," DEP Secretary John Quigley said. "It underscores the effects we humans have on the natural world and how we can all be better stewards."

The redesigned falcon website includes new interactive features like Instagram and Flickr where users can upload their own wildlife photos and even retweet a falcon valentine on Twitter. Visitors can learn about the falcons' history in Harrisburg, view a calendar of seasonal activity and link to other bird cams from around the state. The live video will now be streamed year-round instead of ending in June. Favorite website features like information and lesson plans for teachers and the Falcon Wire are still available.

The 13-year old male falcon has occupied the nest site at the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years. This is considered old for a wild peregrine, so at some point, a new male may challenge him for the nest site. The seven-year-old female is entering her fourth year at this nest site.

If their courtship is successful, the first of several eggs should arrive around mid-March. The first egg of 2015 arrived March 16. Since 2000, 58 of the 69 eggs produced at the nest have hatched. Thirty-four were females, and 23 males (in 2008, the sex of one of the young falcons could not be determined). The eggs typically hatch in mid-May and the young falcons take their first flights in June.

"This nest site in Harrisburg is one of the most productive ones in the state and its success is due in large part to our online community" Quigley said. "We thank our wonderful volunteers who look out for the young falcons when they're learning to fly, and our online viewers around the globe who keep tabs on their every move!"

To view the new website and video feed, visit DEP's website at www.dep.pa.gov/falcon.

2015
6/26/2015  ::   Streaming Video Time Extended
The streaming video will now end Tuesday, June 30th.
6/25/2015  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
The juveniles are spending more time in the air, getting flight and hunting lessons from the adults. This means they're spending less time at the ledge. The live stream feed will end tomorrow, June 26th. The still image capture is available year-round from the DEP Falcon Page.
6/4/2015  ::   Update from the Ledge!
This week, Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers and staff have been continuously watching the three female fledglings making flights around the city. The white-banded female has been flying successfully today after spending yesterday on a small ledge near the Capitol.

Unfortunately, late yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female died after flying into a window. There are a lot of hazards for the young falcons at urban nest sites including window strikes.

The red-banded female took her first flight early this morning and landed on a low roof on the Rachel Carson Building. She attempted to make another flight but landed on the ground near the main entrance. The DEP staff and interns rescued, examined and released her onto the roof of the building.

6/1/2015  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female fledged prematurely. She was rescued, examined and placed on the roof of the building. She's been getting regular feedings from the adults. Soon, she'll take flight intentionally and gaining strength and flying skills, will return to the nest ledge.
5/21/2015  ::   Banding Results:
All three nestlings have been determined to be females. They are all in good health. Each has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The largest of the three weighed in at 900 grams and has a white tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 855 gram female; red tape on an 850 gram female. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
5/19/2015  ::   Peregrine Falcon Banding Event!
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM on Thursday, May 21 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be a live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 130 students and teachers will be in attendance. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/27/2015  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, over the weekend, the fourth egg did not completely hatch. At this point, it is unlikely that this hatchling will emerge. While this is discouraging, it is normal. The other eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!
4/23/2015  ::   Three!
Early this morning, the third hatchling was discovered in the nest. All three have taken food from the adult female as of 9:30 AM.
4/22/2015  ::   First Hatch of the Season!
We have two hatchlings! One arrived late yesterday afternoon, April 21st; the second, sometime overnight, ushering in Earth Day 2015!
3/23/2015  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 19th and the fourth egg over the weekend on March 21st. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/17/2015  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 7 p.m. last night!
3/16/2015  ::   First Egg!
At around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape!

The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

3/12/2015  ::   When Will It Happen?
Falcon viewers are in the proverbial waiting room, in anticipation of the big event! Last year, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, the first egg was laid on March 12th. This female, being consistently reliable, should deliver the first egg of the season very soon. Stay tuned as the excitement builds!
3/3/2015  ::   Streaming Video Available
An upgraded version of video streaming is now online and accessibly to falcon viewers. The new sharper images provide an intimate view into the courtship and pre-nesting behavior of the adult peregrine falcon pair here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. Stay tuned as the first egg is expected the second week in March.
2/17/2015  ::   Streaming Video Date Set
The live stream webcasting begins March 2nd.

The adult peregrines have renewed their pair bond. They are spending more time together at the nest ledge and web viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior. The male is providing food offerings to the female, exhibiting his ability to be a strong provider. The female will increase her hunting and feeding activities in advance of nesting activities. Egg production and viability is directly related to nutrition levels in the female.

2/3/2015  ::   Outlook For 2015 Nesting Season
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. By the end of February, the male typically makes food offerings to the female and breeding activity heightens. Live stream webcasting at the ledge is tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, March 2nd.
2014
8/8/2014  ::   Update on Juveniles
The adults have returned to the ledge periodically over the past several weeks. This is an indication that they are no longer flying with the fledges and that our young juvenile peregrines have become independent. Chances are, they have already arrived in one of our great flyways, where they'll be sustained by soon to occur mass migrations. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Falcon Telemetry page from the DEP Falcon Page.
7/2/2014  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
On Friday, July 4th the streaming video will be discontinued for the 2014 season. DEP staff plan to offer streaming video for the 2015 nesting season beginning the first week in February 2015.
6/10/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The morning of Saturday, June 7th the black-banded male was discovered dead on a low roof below the nest ledge. This fledgling impacted some portion of the building, likely a window or skylight. These hazards have been a significant mortality factor over the past 15 years and are typical of urban nest sites.



The other three fledges are doing well, getting flight lessons from the adults. This includes in-flight food transfers providing them with the challenge of attaining food with reliance on their own flight skills.

6/5/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The red-banded female was rescued from a glass enclosed balcony yesterday afternoon and released from the roof of the building. All four of the fledges are now flying to and from nearby buildings. Soon, they'll get advanced flight lessons from the adults.
6/3/2014  ::   What's Next?
The fledglings will remain in the area for 4 to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, then flight and hunting lessons, leading to complete independence. Activity at the ledge will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor, the habitat type that lead breeding adults to this location over 15 years ago.
6/3/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
All four of the eyases have taken their first flight. Early this morning, the red-banded female attempted her first airborne adventure. An adventure it was too; she landed on the sidewalk in front of the building where she was promptly rescued and placed on top of the building. The 2014 Rachel Carson brood of four are now referred as fledglings. This is one of the most critical times in their young lives. The highest mortality at a nest site occurs within the first week of fledging. Watch and rescue crews have proven once again that this annual vigil is well worth the time and effort involved to safeguard this endangered raptor.
5/30/2014  ::   Fledging Update
Early this morning, the green-banded male made his first flight landing on a lower ledge of the Rachel Carson Building. After a few more short flights, the male landed on the Aberdeen Street sidewalk. He's was rescued, examined and released onto the building's roof.



The black-banded male made some short flights and now is on a ledge of the neighboring Harrisburg University Building.



The Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers are keeping a close eye on the young fledges.

5/29/2014  ::   Eyases Nearly Ready to Take Flight!
At 6:15 PM last evening, May 28th the black-banded male eyas fledged prematurely, catching a gust of wind while wing-flapping at the edge of the nest ledge. He was rescued by afterhours watch and rescue volunteers and taken to the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. This eyas and his siblings are not quite ready to fledge on their own yet but will be within several days. At this point in their young lives, they are most vulnerable and watch and rescue activities can play a key role in their survival.
5/15/2014  ::   Banding Results
Based on Game Commission banding results, we have two female and two male eyases in this years' brood. All four were examined and appear to be in good health.



Why do we band peregrine falcons?



Biologists place an alphanumeric metal band around the left leg each of the eyases with a falcon-specific code. The band code will be used by wildlife officials to monitor the birds once they leave the nest. In addition, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife band is placed on the eyases' right leg registering each on a federal banding database.



Band code reporting can inform wildlife managers as to how far peregrines migrate, where they establish breeding territory, over-wintering behavior, how long they live and causes of mortality.



Here are some outcomes revealed by banding efforts at the RCSOB:



The original breeding adult female appeared at the Rachel Carson State Office Building (RCSOB) in 1999. She was identified by her band code. By viewing the number on the band on her leg (4/4), officials were able to trace her origin to a nest on the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia. She was banded in 1998. She was the first falcon produced on a bridge in Pennsylvania to be rediscovered at a nest site.



The original male was not banded so his origin and age were unknown. This male was injured in 2003 and wildlife managers deemed him unable to survive in the wild so reuniting him with 4/4 was not an option. After five weeks the female seemed resigned to the fact that he would not return. She bonded with another male. This male was banded on the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003.



Several of Rachel Carson's young falcons have reportedly been nesting in Ohio, Delaware and other locations in Pennsylvania. While their numbers are increasing, the Pennsylvania Game Commission still lists the peregrine falcons as an endangered species in the Commonwealth.

4/28/2014  ::   Young Peregrines Demand More Food
The adults are both actively hunting. The eyases are growing so rapidly that both of the adults must provide as much food as possible. They visit the nest site often to check on the eyases but only briefly and usually off-camera. All is well with the falcon family.
4/22/2014  ::   Fourth Egg Hatches!
Sometime overnight or early this morning, the last of the falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to four!
4/21/2014  ::   Three Nestings!
Yesterday, 4/20, three of the four eggs hatched!

For the last egg, look for white spots on it, which is an indication that the last hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.

4/17/2014  ::   First Hatch Soon
Based on the timing from the nesting season last year, we should expect the first hatch within a day or two. The female will move off the eggs occasionally for the male to take some incubation duties and to rotate the eggs. As this activity is happening we may see signs of pipping, or breaking out of the shell by a hatchling.
4/8/2014  ::   Update From the Nest Box
We can expect the first egg to hatch around the 20th of April. This female has been consistent within her reproductive cycle. The male has been hunting regularly and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/19/2014  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the fourth egg around 9:30 a.m. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/18/2014  ::   Three Eggs!
The female laid the second egg on Saturday, March 15th and the third on Monday, March 17th!
3/13/2014  ::   First Egg!
At around 5 p.m. yesterday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
3/10/2014  ::   First Egg Expected Soon!
We can expect the first egg to be laid sometime this week. The best estimate, based on last year's timeline, would be Wednesday or Thursday. The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She rotates her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/11/2014  ::   Live Streaming Begins Friday
This Friday, February 14th, three HD cameras will begin to chronicle activities at the nest ledge. The breeding pair at the Rachel Carson State Office Building fittingly renew their pair-bond around Valentine's Day annually.
2013
10/3/2013  ::   Still Image View
Due to system maintenence, there will be only one view at the ledge for the time being.
7/22/2013  ::   Video Streaming Ends/What's Next for the Juveniles?
The live stream video has ended for the 2013 season. The still image capture will be available year-round.



The juveniles have become confident in their flying and hunting abilities and will soon leave the area.

In the past, Rachel's young falcons have traveled hundreds of miles in all directions. They'll likely spend the fall near a migration corridor, often along the Eastern Seaboard, where the food supply is abundant. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Peregrine Falcon page and click on the Satellite Telemetry button. These pages chronicle the movements of two juveniles affixed with satellite transmitters before dispersing from the Rachel Carson nest in 2002.

6/28/2013  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
All four of the Peregrine Falcon juveniles are flying confidently and honing their hunting skills. They have been spending less time at the ledge so as to become more independent. At times they return for rest, at nightfall, for protection from the elements, or if they are hungry and have had an unsuccessful hunt. After fledging, juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. The adult falcons participate in their young's practice of flying and hunting, bringing them food if they have not been able to hunt their own, and even doing food drops to teach them how to dive. After these skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.
6/10/2013  ::   Fledge/Rescue Summary
The young male (yellow band) was the first to fledge, the morning of May 31st. The morning of June 1st, the largest of the brood (red band) fledged. It was a busy season for the watch and rescue crews as six rescues were undertaken. All four fledges are flying strong at this point. The adults have been observed with the juveniles delivering food in flight and giving advanced flying lessons.
6/5/2013  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledges were at the ledge this morning. They have since been seen at various perches around the city. Milk crates were placed inside the 16th floor balcony in case they land inside again and get trapped, they can hop out to the railing.
6/3/2013  ::   Blue Banded Female Released
The blue-banded female was returned onto the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building after being released from the wildlife rehabilitator around 11 a.m. The female has taken a few short flights to the nearby buildings and is doing okay. She was rescued by the Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteer crew on Saturday, June 1st.
6/3/2013  ::   All falcons fledged
On the morning of Friday, May 31st, the yellow-banded male was the first fledge. After a few short flights, he landed inside a balcony on the 16th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. He was later rescued and released onto the roof.

Over the weekend, the blue-banded female was rescued and taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center because of exhaustion and dehydration. She has recovered and will be released onto the building later today.

The other falcons--white-band and red-band are making short flights around the building. DEP Environmental Education staff, interns and volunteers are coordinating the Falcon Watch and Rescue Program.

5/23/2013  ::   Banding Results
There are three females, one male. One of the females weighed in at 990 grams, the biggest we've ever banded at the Rachel Carson nest. They all had a physical exam and none showed any signs of disease, parasite infestation or injury.
5/13/2013  ::   Banding Event
The annual Peregrine Falcon banding event will be held Tuesday, May 21 at 1:00 PM in the Rachel Carson State Office Building Auditorium in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will be produced and live webcast by Commonwealth Media Services from the DEP Falcon Page. DEP is inviting teachers, with their students and non-formal educators to attend, through a pre-registration process. Biologists will weigh, examine and band the soon to be nearly four week old eyases.
5/1/2013  ::   Busy Birds
As the nestlings grow, their demand for food increases, keeping the male very busy. Soon, the nestlings will be feathered and developed enough that the female will hunt more regularly, typically bring back larger birds. It's all about biomass now and keeping up with the needs of the nestlings.
4/29/2013  ::   Full Brood of Four
Early on the morning of Tuesday, April 23rd the fourth chick hatched out. Because these four nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge. The next big event for the peregrines is the banding event, scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st at 1 PM.
4/22/2013  ::   Eggs Hatch!
Sometime between 2 and 3 PM on Saturday, April 20th, the first egg hatched. Early Sunday morning the second hatchling arrived. By Monday morning, April 22nd, three nestlings were being cared for by the adults. If viable, the fourth egg should hatch soon. This close hatch time among the nestlings is good news because they should compete for food without one or another being disadvantaged by being smaller and weaker than their nest-mates.
4/10/2013  ::   Incubation
Based on past reproductive timelines, we can expect the first egg to hatch around April 21st. The male seems to be very successful in hunting and providing for the female as she does most of the incubation. The male will do around one third of the incubation, allowing the female to hunt on her own, typically taking larger birds.
3/20/2013  ::   Egg Number Four
The fourth egg was observed in the nest around 8 AM this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch... within several days we'll know for certain. The female will do most of the incubation, as the male increases his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The female will hunt occasionally throughout the incubation period.
3/18/2013  ::   Three Eggs!
Sometime last night, the third egg arrived.

The adults now will incubate more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/15/2013  ::   2 eggs!
The female just laid second egg at about 2:37 p.m. today.
3/13/2013  ::   First Egg!
Late last night or early this morning, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid five days later than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/14/2013  ::   Live Streaming Video Begins!
The live stream video begins today! New HD cameras have been installed, providing a more crisp view of the fascinating behavior of Rachel's Peregrines. Activities at the ledge have been lighter this year. The peregrines have been spending more time away from the ledge. This may be because a ranging male has been persistent in his challenge to the resident male. There have been many intense battles at the ledge in recent weeks. Once this rivalry has been resolved, activity at the ledge should increase.
1/31/2013  ::   Still Image Issues
The still image capture is being handled by a new software program. Media staff are working to resolve problems that result in the image failing to refresh regularly.
2012
12/17/2012  ::   New Cameras Installed and Running
The new HD digital cameras have been installed. The still image capture is currently getting feed from one of three cameras. Later, networking hardware will be installed to bring the other two cameras into a viewing sequence, covering most of the ledge area. By the first week in February, the system should be ready for HD live stream broadcast.
11/28/2012  ::   Camera Upgrades
The cameras at the ledge will be replaced with new, state-of-the-art cameras to improve the image we provide for the 2013 nesting season. By Monday, December 3rd, the still image should be back on line.
8/8/2012  ::   Update from the Ledge
The live stream video has ended for the season. The still image capture is available year-round. The adult pair has been spending time together at the ledge and throughout the city. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good.
7/17/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Both of the adults have been at the ledge. This is a firm indication that the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The new female has been laying and rotating in the scrape. This behavior seems to be practice for the next nesting season which will get underway early in February of 2013.
6/22/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledglings have been sighted at various locations away from the nest ledge and occasionally visit the ledge briefly. They seem to have no interest in returning to the ledge. It is likely that the adult male is still flying with them and giving them advance hunting lessons. By the end of June, they should set out on their first long journey.
6/13/2012  ::   News from the Nest Ledge!
The new adult female falcon has been in the scrape with the male apparently pair-bonding.

She is a large falcon from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA, and was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

6/7/2012  ::   Female Falcon Update
This afternoon, an adult female peregrine was observed on the ledge. The female is banded. Based upon her alphanumeric band codes, she is from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA. She was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

Both fledges are doing well, and improving their hunting skills.

6/4/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
Both of the fledglings have been observed in flight, at times with the adult male, getting advance lessons. They are being fed at the ledge occasionally. They have reached to the point now where they are capable of receiving in-flight food exchanges. They're developing their skills rapidly.

There have been no reported sightings of any other adult peregrine appearing at or near the ledge.

5/29/2012  ::   Significant Happenings!
There is much to report on activities at the nest ledge over the holiday weekend. On Saturday, May 26th at 6:48 AM, the blue-banded eyas became a fledgling. His first attempt at flight resulted in a rescue from a low roof where a skylight prevented him from taking another attempt at flight. He was placed on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building and has been flying well since. At 7:25 AM on Memorial Day, the red-banded eyas flew and returned to the ledge. Today, the red-banded fledgling was rescued from the street after a precarious flight from a nearby treetop. The fledgling was returned to the nest ledge.

Thursday and Friday of last week the adult male seemed to be exhibiting attraction behavior, that is, he was sending notice to any passing female that he's available. Friday at 6:25 PM, a female arrived at the nest ledge and flew away. She has been spotted sporadically since the original sighting. Whether or not she is banded remains to be determined.

5/25/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday, just after 6AM, the red-banded eyas was swept off the ledge by a gust of wind as he flapped his wings. He was rescued from a nearby ally and returned to the ledge. At this age the eyases aren't quite ready to fly but they have the ability to make clumsy, relatively light landings. Volunteers are watching the young birds all day long from this point until they fledge and successfully return to the ledge. The adult male is doing a great job providing for the eyases on his own as there is still no sign of the adult female.

The eyases are very mobile on the ledge now and are sometimes completely out of camera view. They're spending time on a small ledge opposite the radius column behind the scrape.

5/22/2012  ::   Update on Rachel's Falcons
Despite daily search efforts, the adult female has not been located. The male has been providing food for the eyases. He is also a very good teacher. After the eyases make their first attempt at flight, he'll provide the fledges with flight and hunting lessons. We'll be observing the progress of the fledges and rescue them if they make any bad landings.
5/17/2012  ::   Falcon Sightings
The adult resident female has sustained an injury or disease that has rendered her unable to effectively hunt, feed herself and the eyases. The male has redoubled his hunting activities and is providing for the eyases. DEP staff has been trying to locate the female in hopes of live capturing her for treatment at a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center. Any information on her whereabouts would be appreciated. The female is one third larger than the male and is not banded. The male is banded. Falcon watchers can report information via the falcon page email account or call DEP's Environmental Education Center at 717 772-1828.
5/11/2012  ::   Banding Results
This year we have two male eyases- one weighs 560g, the other 590g. They're both in good health. The banding event seems to awaken the eyases to the fact that they can get out of the scrape and explore the nest ledge. This is critical to their physical development. They will begin building the strength and agility that will be necessary for them to attempt their first flight, which should happen in a few short weeks.
5/8/2012  ::   Banding Event
The banding event will be live webcast at 1 PM, tomorrow May 9th. Over 150 students, teachers and youth groups will be in attendance. Many of the teachers who will arrive with their students also attended a falcon teacher workshop here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building on April 3rd. This year we'll have two nestlings. They'll be weighed, examined and the sex will be determined before leg bands are attached. These bands will provide for an individual signature that identifies the birds when they fledge, disperse and seek out their own nesting territories.
4/30/2012  ::   Egg Update
There will be two nestlings banded at the May 9th banding event. Last year, one chick hatched for a total of three young produced at the nest over two years. This female was very young last year, and typically young peregrine females will lay eggs that are not viable. Even with adult females, one of four eggs not viable is not unusual. So there is reason for optimism in the sense that this pair has doubled the number of nestlings this year and as she matures, this female should produce eggs with a greater hatch success rate. The unhatched eggs in the nest will be added to the eggs from last year's nesting season and submitted for testing.
4/17/2012  ::   Two Hatchlings!
Yesterday afternoon, two of the chicks began to pip out of their egg shells. By early this morning, two hatchlings appeared from under the brooding female. They have been fed and appear to be active and healthy. From this point on, the adults will no longer be bored, incubating 24-7. Instead, they will be actively hunting most of the day to provide for the rapidly growing eyases.
4/16/2012  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon!
Based on past incubation periods, we can expect the first egg to hatch soon. The female is exhibiting behavior that would suggest this as well. Some of the eggs have white spots on them, also an indication that the first hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/15/2012  ::   Fourth Egg!
Around 7 AM this morning, the female falcon laid her fourth egg. We'll have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/13/2012  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg was laid at around 5 PM yesterday, March 12th. The female appears to be on her normal reproductive cycle.
3/12/2012  ::   Second Egg Arrives!
The second egg was laid at 6:26 AM, Saturday, March 10th. Thanks to all who emailed, reporting the time the egg was first observed.

The adults will incubate these two eggs only occasionally- when the third egg is laid, more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first two hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/8/2012  ::   First Egg of the Season!
The female exhibited egg laying behavior, late in the afternoon yesterday. This morning, we have the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid three days earlier than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/27/2012  ::   Nesting Season Well Underway
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. The male has been observed bringing food offerings to the female and breeding activity appears to be normal. There have been reports of conflicts in the sky, possibly the unbanded male returning to challenge the resident male. At this point, it is likely that the resident male and female will drive off any interlopers. Their bond is strong and their territory is mutually valued and defended.
1/24/2012  ::   Improved Camera Coverage
A third camera has put into the scan sequence to better cover activity at the nest ledge. As far as we know at this point there are still two males competing for breeding male dominance. Any activity observed from this point on is critical in determining how this nesting season will play out. The adult female is not banded. The new male is not banded. The resident male is banded and is somewhat smaller than the new male. DEP staff are observing the birds, as time allows, in order to identify subtle differences in plumage and markings among the three peregrine falcons.
1/19/2012  ::   Breaking News on the Resident Male!
The resident male, band code W/V, has reclaimed his territory! He was spotted at the ledge this afternoon in the company of the adult female. No sightings today of the unbanded male. It remains to be determined whether or not there was a territorial battle between the males or if this just sets the stage for a battle. Males at this nest site have had the habit of leaving the area for a week or two and then returning. Breeding activity typically takes place at this time of year so if the battle has not happened, it will likely happen soon. Any information that falcon watchers can provide about the behavior of these birds is of great value to DEP education staff monitoring the site. Information can be reported to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link below the web image window on the DEP falcon page.
2011
12/28/2011  ::   News From the Nest Ledge
A new male peregrine has been visiting the nest ledge since the first week in November. This bird is not banded and appears to be somewhat larger and younger than the resident male. The resident male peregrine was last seen in conflict with the new male on November 30th. The new male has since made food offerings to the female and they appear to be pair-bonding. It is likely that the new male was successful in his challenge for the nest site and resident female. The resident male may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what we can expect for the 2012 nesting season.
7/14/2011  ::   Fledgling and Video Streaming Update
The fledgling is reportedly still visiting the ledge regularly. We can assume that he is also getting advanced hunting lessons and is hunting on his own as well. Soon, he should become completely independent and begin his first year journey to places unknown.

The live stream video is scheduled to end tomorrow, July 15th 2011.

7/6/2011  ::   Update
The fledgling has been observed returning to the ledge most evenings. He should soon become completely independent. The adults are seldom seen at the ledge because they're probably still giving the fledgling hunting lessons. The new adult female may remain here throughout the remainder of summer, and possibly the fall and winter, as the original female did. Or, she may spend the winter elsewhere. This is all conjecture at this point because territorial behavior varies among individual breeding peregrines.
6/6/2011  ::   Fledge/Watch and Rescue Summary
The 2011 Falcon Watch and Rescue Program for the one fledgling Peregrine Falcon nesting on the 15th Floor of Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was extremely exciting and successful. The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) official volunteer Falcon Watch and Rescue Program was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 31st, with more than 15 individuals volunteering to observe the fledglings who worked in two-hour shifts from approximately 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.



However, our one-and-only fledgling decided to take his first flight a little earlier than expected, fledging around 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 27th. DEP called off the Falcon Watch and Rescue that was scheduled for May 31st - June 3rd, but the weekend and afterhours volunteer coordinators arranged volunteers to watch throughout the Memorial Holiday Weekend.



This year no falcon rescues took place! Throughout the week, the adult falcons encouraged the fledgling to take flight by enticing him with food while performing "fly-bys". In order to prepare for flight, the juvenile falcon would strengthen his wings by flapping and running from one end of the ledge to the other. He also had some practice take-offs by running, jumping and flapping his wings at the same time.





On Friday, May 27th, the silver-banded male fledged at approximately 9:00 a.m. and landed on top of the Strawberry Square Building. He relaxed there for about 10 minutes then attempted his next flight towards the 333 Market Street. He wasn't strong enough, however, to gain the height to the top, so the adult female guided him to the top of the Rachel Carson Building. Within an hour of this first take off from the ledge, he was back on the ledge again to rest.



After his first flight, he continued to hone his flying skills by making short flights to buildings surrounding the Rachel Carson Building. Some of the most frequently visited locations included the Pennsylvania Department of Education building located at 333 Market Street, Strawberry Square, and the Forum Place Building.



By Wednesday, June 1st, DEP concluded its 2011 Flacon Watch and Rescue Program. At that time, it was determined that the fledgling had improved his flying skills enough to maneuver safely and return to the 15th floor ledge.

5/31/2011  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledgling has been seen flying with both of the adults, seemingly getting flying lessons. He's getting stronger each day. Soon, he should get hunting lessons. This involves the adults transferring food in-flight and then assisting the fledgling in pursuit of prey. He seems to be on a fast track to independence. We expect him to gain full independence within five weeks. Then, he will likely leave the area traveling to unknown destinations. To learn more about this behavior, click on the Falcon Telemetry link on the DEP Falcon Page to view telemetry points and dates posted from the 2002 study.
5/27/2011  ::   The Fledge!
The little male ran the length of the ledge and took flight at 9:15 AM. He landed on nearby building. Within 15 minutes he was on top of the Rachel Carson State Office Building, his home building. Soon after, he returned to the nest ledge where he was rewarded with a meal. This fledgling now holds the record for earliest fledge and quickest return to the ledge. Watch and rescue crews will continue to track his whereabouts and ensure that if he gets into trouble they can respond and keep him out of harm's way.
5/26/2011  ::   Nestling Update
The eyas has been really active at the nest ledge. He's exhibiting behavior that suggests he may fledge prematurely. Watch and rescue crews are watching him closely in case he does fly and would have to be rescued from the street. The camera views, although not very appealing, provide the best view of the edges of the ledge where the eyas would take flight from. Our first priority is to have this view on streaming video so we can react if and when he does fledge.
5/19/2011  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, there is only one nestling at the ledge. Based on weight(660 grams)and the diameter of the legs the nestling was determined to be a male. The banding team placed an alphanumeric band on the nestling with characters large enough to read with binoculars and another US Fish and Wildlife band with a code that can be read with the bird in hand. The nestling was in good health. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight this young bird will take. He should fledge in about two weeks.
5/16/2011  ::   Banding Event Tomorrow
The banding event for 2011 will take place tomorrow, May 17th at 1 PM. The nestling appears to be in good health though it will get a thorough physical examination at the event. More than 170 students, teachers and volunteers will view the event live at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will also be live webcast through streaming video. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/26/2011  ::   Hatch Update
The remaining eggs in the scrape have had little incubation so it's likely we'll have only one nestling this season. We think this new female is very young and as such it's not unusual for her to lay infertile eggs. This may actually be good in the sense that she'll have less pressure in giving flight and hunting lessons to this nestling when it fledges than if the full clutch had hatched. Looking back to the 2000 season, mortality of the fledglings was high (75%) perhaps due to the inexperience of 4/4, the original Rachel Carson female in training the fledges to attain the skills necessary to reach independence.
4/20/2011  ::   First Hatch!
At 5:30 PM last evening, viewers noticed that one of the four eggs showed signs of "pipping out". By this morning, the first hatchling of the season had arrived. This nestling will get regular feedings as will the others when they hatch out.
4/13/2011  ::   First Hatch Expected Soon
The first hatch of the season is expected to happen the week of April 18th. The new female's reproductive clock appears to be around 9 days earlier than the original female. This will result in the earlier scheduling of key activities as well. The banding event will take place on Tuesday, May 17th and the watch and rescue activities will begin on Tuesday, May 31st.
3/30/2011  ::   Harrisburg Offspring Discovered at Nest!
The green-banded female from the 2009 nesting season has claimed her own nesting territory. This female was the largest of four females and one male banded on May 27th 2009. Her band codes were confirmed by falcon watchers on March 6th. She displaced an established female at a bridge scrape near Rocky River Metro Parks in Brookpark, Ohio, a few miles south of Cleveland. The site is close to Cleveland Hopkins Airport and the entranceway to NASA. No reports yet of eggs in the nest but there have been many sightings of breeding activity. The Harrisburg watch and rescue crews should be commended here because if not for their efforts in rescuing this female from the street several days after fledging, she may not have survived.
3/18/2011  ::   Egg Number Four!
Early this morning, the fourth egg arrived. This may be the full clutch, but we have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/16/2011  ::   Third Egg!
Now that there are three eggs in the nest, incubation time will increase. We can also now begin to estimate the date of the first hatch. With an average incubation time if 34 days, we can expect the first hatch to take place the third week in April.
3/14/2011  ::   Second Egg!
The second egg was delivered early Sunday morning, March 13th. Typically, a full clutch would have three to five eggs. The previous female would consistently lay five eggs to complete the clutch. Both of the adults will spend long hours hunting so the female can meet her nutritional needs during egg development. Soon, the hunting duties will shift primarily to the male, as the female spends more time incubating the eggs.
3/11/2011  ::   First Egg!
This morning at 9:30 an egg was observed in the scrape. The new female was eight days earlier, on average than her predecessor, 4/4 in delivering the first egg of the season. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins. From all indications, this female is very young. As such, it will be difficult to say with any certainty that this year will be as productive as past nesting seasons but it will certainly be interesting to watch and find out.
2/17/2011  ::   Video Streaming Begins
The live stream video web hosting has begun for the 2011 season. What's new for this nesting season? Most significantly, there is a new female in the nest. She arrived the first week in September of last year. The second week in September, an employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challengers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out their own nesting territory. For more on the life and legacy of the original female, click on the Falcon Stories link on the DEP Falcon Page.



The new female is not banded so her age and geographic origin cannot be determined. However, when she arrived, she sported a bit of rusty brown coloring, an indication that she was emerging from juvenile plumage. In terms of predicting the date the first egg will arrive, all bets are off. In order to provide the best chance to view the laying of the first egg, the camera will be fixed on the nest box from now until the nestlings begin moving out of the box.

2/7/2011  ::   Rachel's Falcons Begin 2011 Nesting Season
Falcon watchers have reportedly seen breeding activities at the nest ledge. DEP Environmental Education staff are preparing for another season of outreach and education on endangered species reintroduction with Rachel's falcons as the focal point. We're currently seeking approval to contract for the live streaming video (more on this later) and the annual teacher workshop is set for April 12th, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
2010
9/14/2010  ::   There's a New Female in Town!
For the past two weeks there has been a lot of activity at and near the nest ledge. Recently, a new adult female falcon has been seen bonding with the male. The origin of this female is unknown as she is not banded. Email information from web viewers indicates that the resident female is no longer at the ledge. An employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challenging interlopers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out nesting territory. Any information that web viewers care to share would be appreciated. For now, we have set two close camera views at the nest box and perch for observation purposes.
7/21/2010  ::   Blue Band Loses Battle with Trichomoniasis
Due to the trichomoniasis infection, blue lost weight and became more susceptible to secondary infections. He had intestinal parasites, which cleared up with medication, and other secondary infections. He lost weight, and never returned to his weight at the age of banding. His feather development was retarded, and he was not preening himself properly. All of these are the consequences of the initial trich infection. It is indeed a nasty disease. As a result of these conditions, euthanizing became the necessary course of action.
7/13/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
Previously, we reported that the fledges may have dispersed from the area. Viewer emails have indicated that they are still around. Here is information provided by an avid viewer:

"All the birds pretty much are off the ledge & hunkered down somewhere staying cool during the heat of the day, but early every morning the adults can be seen on the ledge, & in the evening, not only can you see the adults, but the kids as well. I've seen the parents on the ledge every day & at least one juvenile every day".

7/9/2010  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 16th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/9/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Will Be Down
The Falcon Cam will be down on Tuesday, July 13th in the morning. Viewers should be able to watch the live Falcon Cam in the afternoon.
7/1/2010  ::   Updates
For the Latest Updates Click on the Falcon Wire News Button
6/30/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
One of the fledges spent several hours resting on the ledge today. With a close camera angle we were able to get a good look at him and he looked fine. The adult male was perched above him on one of the camera housings. Now, they are out together, engaged in flight/hunting lessons. Earlier today, the adult female was spotted doing the same with the other fledge. Blue's condition continues to improve although not at the pace we would like to see. All in all Rachel's falcons are doing fine.
6/24/2010  ::   Update on Blue
The infections/parasites are gone. He's improving daily.

He will not be released here at the Rachel Carson Building-he's not ready. Feather development is still slow and weight is still down. He's not preening, so his flight feathers are slow to come in. Eventually, we would like to release him, but there is no guarantee he'll fully recover. If he does, the release may occur this Fall or Spring of 2011. He will get flying and hunting lessons while in rehabilitation.

6/16/2010  ::   Blue
Blue has gained a little more weight; he now weighs 540 grams. However, he is also being treated for parasites and a secondary protozoan infection. Because of these conditions it is best to keep him in wildlife rehabilitation. The more time that passes, the less likely it is he'll be released to the ledge. If later, he does recover fully, he may be released at another nest site where nestlings are fledging later. If he does not develop 100% strength and vitality he may remain in captivity for educational purposes.
6/11/2010  ::   Fledgling Activity
From yesterday's after hours watch and rescue reports, white took two flights last evening. Today he is perched high on a nearby building. Red has visited the ledge often and continues to investigate rooftops throughout the city. These two fledges should begin their flight/hunting lessons soon.
6/10/2010  ::   The Latest on Blue
Blue will not be released to the ledge this week. Yesterday, his weight was 510 grams. The wildlife rehabilitator would like to get his weight up to 600 grams before considering the release. In addition, his feather development is delayed. We'll keep viewers updated on his progress.
6/9/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
White has remained on the ledge since he was rescued from a boxed in low rooftop yesterday morning. The adults are withholding food from him at this point so that he'll take flight again. Then, many of the food transfers will take place in flight. Red is on top of a nearby building. He's been taking some good strong flights the past two days. Blue should return from wildlife rehab tomorrow or Friday to be released on the nest ledge.
6/8/2010  ::   The Latest News
Red had a good flight from the roof and is on the nest ledge now. The rehabilitator would like blue's feathering to develop a little more before release. We're planning to return blue to the ledge Thursday or Friday of this week.
6/7/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
The two males fledged yesterday from the ledge. From all accounts, the white banded male fledged first at around 9:30 AM. He ended up near the street were he was rescued and placed on the roof of the building. Just after 1 PM white flew from the building and landed on the sidewalk, where again he was rescued. The red banded fledge took his first flight later in the morning. He remained on a low, boxed in rooftop until today at 3:30 PM when he was rescued and placed on the roof. The goal for the fledglings now will be to return to the ledge. There are two teams of watchers keeping an eye on them.



The blue banded male taken for treatment has recovered to the extent the rehabilitator would like to return him to the ledge soon. Thanks to the weekend watch and rescue crew for rescuing white after first flight attempt and briefing DEP staff on these happenings this morning.

6/1/2010  ::   Blue-Banded Male Update
This afternoon, officials from the Game Commission successfully retrieved the blue-banded male falcon that was taken by a wildlife rehabilitator for treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the ledge. The other two eyasses were treated as a precaution and returned to the ledge.
6/1/2010  ::   Update about Blue-Banded Male
At the time of banding, signs of the trichomoniasis (trich) infection were observed in the blue-banded male. The eyas was treated with the recommended dose of antibiotic by the Game Commission's Art McMorris. Trichomoniasis is a fairly widespread infection in young raptors. After careful observation, and in response to public notification that he is not responding well, the Game Commission has decided to retrieve the eyas so that it can be re-examined and, if necessary, treated more extensively off-site by a veterinarian until he is ready to be returned to the nest. The other two eyasses, which did not show signs of trich, will be re-examined as well. Infections, parasites and other maladies are a "fact of life" in wild animals, and we are fortunate that we can give this peregrine the benefit of medical attention.
5/27/2010  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, all of the nestlings are males. The banding team placed colored tape on the nestlings for the purpose of keeping track of them when they fledge. The largest of them, at 690 grams, is sporting white tape; the smallest, at 550 grams, blue and the middle sized nestling, at 590 grams, has red tape. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight these young birds will make. They should begin fledging in about two weeks.
5/26/2010  ::   Banding Event
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM tomorrow, May 27 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 180 students and teachers will be in attendance. Visit the DEP Website at www.depweb.state.pa.us to view the banding event.
5/11/2010  ::   Brood Complete
This year, there is a full brood of three nestlings. Last year and in 2006 there were five. In eight of the nine previous years the brood numbered four. In 2005, there was a full brood of three nestlings. The adult female at this nest site is now 12 years old. It is not unusual for a breeding bird of this age to lay one or two infertile eggs. The birds cannot be disturbed at this critical time so the remaining infertile egg will be retrieved after the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The real work now begins for the adult pair. They will have to hunt continuously to keep up with their rapidly growing brood.
5/7/2010  ::   Status of Eggs
One of the two remaining eggs was broken sometime overnight. There is one unhatched egg remaining. Since there was yolk in the broken egg, it most likely was infertile, or at least, any embryo had little development. If the other egg is not viable, it will begin to decay, and will be vulnerable to breaking under the process of decomposition.
5/6/2010  ::   Status of Unhatched Eggs?
To date, the two remaining eggs have not yet hatched. In past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see what happens. By this weekend, hopefully we'll see the hatches.
5/3/2010  ::   Three Eggs Hatched!
The second egg reportedly hatched around noon on Saturday, May 1st. The third egg hatched early this morning, May 3rd, sometime before dawn. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the fourth egg hatches.
4/29/2010  ::   First Egg Hatched!
Around 2:45 p.m. today, the first Peregrine Falcon nestling, called an eyas, hatched out of its egg. The young falcon used an egg tooth on its beak to break through the shell. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the next egg hatches.
4/27/2010  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon
We expect the first egg to hatch the end of this week or into the weekend. The hatchlings will take food shortly after emerging from the egg. When all of the eggs have hatched, the adults will have to hunt and provide food for the nestlings for the following eight weeks as they grow and develop. Even after fledging in June, the young birds will be dependent on the adults to deliver food in-flight until the fledges attain independence.
4/13/2010  ::   Email Notification
If you are signed up on our educator database and have requested email notification about big events and happenings related to the falcons, this message is for you- The next big happening will be the hatching of the first egg, around the end of April to the first day or two in May. Viewers who want to catch this kind of action should visit the Falcon Page often and may also follow the falcons on Twitter- click on the Twitter link on the Falcon Page. To help anticipate when these big things will happen, click on the Falcon Wire News link and read the updates from the 2009 nesting season.
4/8/2010  ::   Juvenile Female Claims New Territory
The red-band coded female that fledged from the Rachel Carson State Office Building two years ago has been spotted at a nest site in Wilmington, Delaware; she may be responsible for killing the resident female and taking over the scrape.

This female was banded on May 22nd 2008 and weighed 795 g, the largest of the four nestlings banded that day. The Rachel Carson female and her mother, the nesting female at the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia from 1998 until 2005 are know to biologist as intensely aggressive and territorial. These traits have clearly been passed on to their progeny.

To see the young female at her new scrape, visit http://www.dosbirds.org/wilmfalcons

3/30/2010  ::   Egg Number Five!
Shortly after noon today, March 30th, the fifth egg arrived. This is probably the full clutch. From this point until the eggs hatch around the end of April, the male will be the primary hunter, providing food for the female. He will also incubate the eggs about 30% of the incubation period. After hatching, up until the eyases fledge in the middle of June, both of the adults will rely on their hunting skills to provide for a rapidly growing family. The abundance of migrating and resident birds in the area will be key to the success of the falcon nesting season here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
3/29/2010  ::   Egg Number Four!
Sometime after nightfall on Saturday, March 27th and 11:20 AM on the 28th the fourth egg arrived. This could be the full clutch or as in the past three years, the full clutch may end up numbering five.
3/25/2010  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg arrived sometime in the early morning of March 25th. One or two more will probably complete the clutch.
3/23/2010  ::   Second Egg!
Early this morning, March 23rd, the female Peregrine Falcon laid the second egg. As the clutch grows, the adults will begin brooding for longer periods of time. This progressive brooding behavior allows the eggs to hatch at close intervals. The male and female will share brooding duties; the male will sit 30 to 40 percent of the entire time it takes to hatch the full clutch.
3/22/2010  ::   First Egg!
The first egg was laid at approximately 8:15 AM on Saturday, March 20th. We can expect the next to arrive very soon. This egg will get very little incubation as the even growth and development of the eyases is a very important factor in nest production; more to follow on this later.
3/18/2010  ::   First Egg Expected Soon
Rachel's female falcon should lay the first egg of the season within the next few days. She is expected to lay 4 to 5 eggs. The first two eggs will get little incubation time. After the third egg, incubation time is increased. When the clutch is full, incubation is constant. The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female does most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The camera angles will now be set for close views into the scrape.
3/11/2010  ::   Camera Angles
Soon the cameras will be set to view inside the nest box. For now the most interesting activities are seen at the current camera compositions. The southeast corner of the ledge and the perching post are habitual hangouts for these birds. Breeding activity often takes place on the southeast corner as well.
3/9/2010  ::   Eggs Before Easter
The first egg of the season should arrive within two weeks time. Last year the first egg arrived on the 21st of March. The adult female has been within two to three days on this egg-laying schedule for the past ten years. For the past four years the female has laid a full clutch of five eggs. Egg production is directly related to nutrition, the availability of food and the ability of a healthy breeding pair to attain and metabolize it. The happy irony is that this is an ongoing tribute to Rachel Carson and her work- most notably the 1962 book Silent Spring. Peregrine falcons have made their home on the fifteenth floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years.
2/4/2010  ::   Male Peregrine Returns!
At 1:25 PM today, February 4, 2010 the Rachel Carson male peregrine was spotted on the southeast corner of the ledge. This ends his long absence from the ledge and renews expectations for another successful nesting season.
1/27/2010  ::   Adult Male Sightings
Typically this pair of peregrines can be found spending much of their time together this time of year. The female has been seen frequently at the ledge, the male has not been spotted for some time. This male does tend to wander for long periods of time and possibly at great distances. If he is not with this female the first week in February we can speculate that something may have happened to him. In any case, web cam viewers are urged to email via the Contact DEP link to report peregrine sightings at the ledge. The male is one third smaller than the female and has been known to perch on top of one of the camera housings to the left of the orange column on the wide camera view of the ledge.
1/11/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Image Down for Maintenance
The still image capture will be down for hardware maintenance tomorrow, January 12th through Thursday, January 14th. Viewers should be able to see images at the ledge again Friday morning.
2009
7/22/2009  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 24th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/22/2009  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
There has been no confirmed sighting of the yellow banded female over the past three days. In order for the Game Commission to assist her she would have to regularly visit a known roosting site. If we can get reliable information about such a site, a live capture may be attempted. The adult male and female have been observed resting for long periods of time. This is an indication that the juveniles have moved out of the area. They may return sporadically over the next few weeks but soon they'll be completely independent.
7/17/2009  ::   Yellow Injured
The yellow banded female has sustained injuries that could be life threatening. The lower beak is badly injured and one eye appears to be injured as well. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. The Game Commission is considering a live capture of the fledgling to determine if the injuries can be treated. Any falcon watchers who know of yellow's favorite perches and or behavior patterns that may help in locating the fledgling should post this information to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link on the Falcon Page.
6/25/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The four surviving fledglings are doing well. They have been seen taking flight from the nest ledge to their seemingly favorite food drop perches. The new Harrisburg University for Science and Technology has been a favorite haunt for the fledges. The building has many wide ledges at different levels providing easy access for the birds and great viewing for University staffers. As we move through June and into July there will be less happening at the nest ledge. For the falcon watchers on the street the action has just begun. The birds are getting flight and hunting lessons from both of the adults. Soon they will take their show on the road and fly with the fledges up and down the Susquehanna River Corridor. These corridors are not only watercourses to the Sea but also bird migration pathways and will forever signal prime feeding and breeding habitat to the Peregrine Falcon.
6/15/2009  ::   The Latest on the Fledglings
The blue-banded female fledged on Saturday. She was rescued on Sunday and placed on the roof. All four of the surviving fledglings are now doing well and getting flight lessons from the adults.
6/12/2009  ::   Fledgling News
The blue-banded female remains on the nest ledge. She appears to be in good health. She is probably the youngest and is taking her good time before fledging. The green-banded female was rescued from the street last evening and released on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building- she returned to the ledge this morning. The yellow and red-banded females continue to take short flights back and forth from lower rooftops. The white-banded male has not been as fortunate. He was discovered injured along a nearby rail line this morning. Both of his legs were severely injured. He was transported to a nearby Wildlife Rescue Center where he will be euthanized.
6/11/2009  ::   Status of Fledglings
The yellow banded female was returned to us from wildlife rehabilitation and we released her on the roof around 2 PM. She took flight within a half hour and is doing okay. The red and green banded females have been observed taking short flights to lower building rooftops. The white banded male has not yet been located. The blue banded female is content for now to rest at the ledge; she'll fledge in her own time.
6/10/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The green banded female and the white banded male have fledged. Watch and rescue members are watching both of them as they take successive flights attempting to eventually return to the nest ledge. The yellow banded female has been held for further observation to ensure that she is 100 percent recovered before placing her on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building to take flight again. Taking off from the roof, above the nest ledge, provides a better chance for the fledglings to safely return to the nest ledge.
6/9/2009  ::   Update on Yellow Band
The yellow banded female is reportedly in good physical condition. After a final examination by a vet, she could be released this evening or tomorrow.
6/9/2009  ::   First Fledge!
The yellow banded female fledged at 6:45 this morning. She was rescued from a nearby street and sent to a wildlife rescue/rehabilitation center. Preliminary information indicated she may have an injured leg. We'll get an update and report on her condition this afternoon.
6/3/2009  ::   Update on the Eyases
The five young eyases have physically grown and developed considerably since the banding event on May 27th. Soon, they will make their first flight attempt, known as fledging. Beginning on Monday, June 8th, watch and rescue staff will track the activities of the eyases as they take to the air, one at a time until all have fledged. Although the larger eyases have had the advantage at feeding times, the smaller, more agile ones may have the advantage in flight. The little male (white band) has been running up and down the ledge all week. He's just waiting for his feathers to develop a little more before he makes his first attempt. At the other end of the spectrum, we see the largest female (green band) - she may not be as agile as the smaller birds and the watch and rescue team will watch her closely and respond if she ends up on the street or on one of the nearby parking garages. In any event, fledging is probably the most critical step in the life cycle of peregrines and success can help to ensure the long-term survival of these endangered raptors.
5/28/2009  ::   Banding Results
At the May 27th banding event, the PGC banded four female nestlings, one male. All five of the eyases were treated for mites; all are doing well. The watch and rescue program will begin on Monday, June 8th and run through the weekend or until all of the eyases have fledged and returned to the ledge.
5/6/2009  ::   Educators and Students Invited to Attend Peregrine Falcon Banding Event on May 27th




On Wednesday, May 27th, the Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Game Commission will host the annual Peregrine Falcon Banding Event at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, PA from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Teachers and their students, non-formal educators and youth organizations are invited to attend this event. Activities will include the weighing, examination and banding of the nestlings. There is no cost to attend the banding event.

To register for this event, please contact Ann Devine at 717 772-1644 or adevine@state.pa.us.

Since 1997, a pair of Peregrine Falcons have made their home on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg. The falcon pair has successfully reproduced since 2000, and this Spring, the female again laid a clutch of five eggs

5/4/2009  ::   All Five Eggs Hatched!
Over the weekend, the remaining two falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to five. The fourth egg hatched out at roughly 6:40 p.m. on Friday, May 1. The fifth egg hatched out some time overnight between Saturday night May 2 and early Sunday morning, May 3. This is the second time that all five eggs have hatched.
5/1/2009  ::   Three Have Hatched
The second egg reportedly hatched around 10 AM on Friday, May 1st. The third hatched around 1:30 PM, May 1st. The weather forecast is for cool, wet weather the entire weekend. The adults will continue to keep the chicks warm throughout this period to prevent hypothermia.
4/30/2009  ::   First Egg Hatched!
The first of the five eggs hatched mid-morning today. Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. Stay tuned throughout the weekend to see if all five eggs hatch.
4/29/2009  ::   Peregrine Chicks Should Hatch Soon!
Based on incubation periods recorded in past years we should expect the first egg to hatch on or around May first. In the past one of the five eggs has failed to produce a hatchling. It will be interesting to see what happens this year.

FalconWire Archives
2017
11/28/2017  ::   New Male Observed on Ledge
A new male peregrine has been visiting the nest ledge since last Friday. This bird is banded, band code 38/S, and appears to be larger and younger than the resident male. The new male was banded in 2010 on the McElhatten Bridge in Clinton County and visited the ledge in January.

The fourteen-year old resident male has a black over red striped leg band with "W/V" on it. He was last observed on Sunday, November 19th on the ledge. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings, photos and interactions would be of great value in determining what we can expect for the 2018 nesting season. Please email to ra-epfalcon@pa.gov .

9/8/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The rehabilitator and the veterinarian determined that the Blue-banded falcon will never fully develop, including the liver. These anomalies most likely occurred while this bird was still developing in its egg. Therefore, Blue cannot be released into the wild. At this point, the rehabilitator is in the process of locating a suitable home where the falcon can be used for educational purposes.
8/1/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The blue-banded falcon remains at the wildlife rehabilitation center. The falcon is flying well, but still undersized. "Blue" will be having additional x-rays to examine the falcon's liver development. At this point, it appears that "Blue" may become an educator's bird supporting endangered species outreach programs.
7/28/2017  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male stays in the area most of the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/22/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Today, the rehabilitator provided an update on "Blue", the young falcon that has yet to fledge. An X-ray was done and indicated that this bird's liver is underdeveloped. This may be the reason why it was so far behind in developing its flight feathers. At this point, releasing this young falcon at the Rachel Carson State Office Building is highly unlikely. Actually, there's no guarantee "Blue" will survive in captivity. Treatment with antibiotics is progressing well but only time and close monitoring will tell. "Blue" is scheduled for another X-ray in two months. If the liver issue stabilizes, then consideration will be given to "Blue's" future.
6/15/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Yesterday, the blue-banded falcon received an x-ray, and it was discovered the male has an underdeveloped liver, which may explain the slow growth and feather development. At this point, the final prognosis is unclear, the current plan is to continue observation to see if "Blue" can be returned to the wild or remain in captivity as an education bird.
6/14/2017  ::   Update on Blue-Banded Male Falcon
During a subsequent flight yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded male had a possible collision with a nearby building. The young falcon became grounded and was rescued. He currently is recovering at the Red Creek Wildlife Center.
6/13/2017  ::   Blue-Banded Male Released!
Today around 11 a.m., the blue-banded male returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the building's roof. He took off immediately flying exceptionally well. The adult falcons will bring the young male food and will teach flying and hunting skills.

Both "red" and "white" are spending more time in the air getting advanced flight and hunting lessons from the adults. The adults are teaching them to dive by doing food drops.

After fledging, the falcon juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. But, as their flying and hunting skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.

5/30/2017  ::   More Fledges!
The white-banded falcon fledged around 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 27th and is flying successfully.

Around 9:30 a.m. on May 27th, the blue-banded male fledged and collided with nearby buildings. The young male landed in the street and was subsequently rescued by the falcon watch and rescue volunteers. The volunteers transported "blue" to a nearby wildlife rehabilitator, and it is recovering from a concussion. Today's report from the rehabilitator suggests it will likely recover and may be returned to the building sometime soon.

White and red both are flying well and can be observed flying between taking short flights near the Rachel Carson State Office Building and receiving hunting lessons from the adults.

5/26/2017  ::   First Fledges!
Around 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 25th, the blue-banded male took an accidental first flight landing on the roof of a nearby building. On Friday morning, May 26th, the Environmental Education Center staff and interns recovered "Blue" and placed him on the nest ledge.

Around 11 a.m., the red-banded male took his first flight, successfully landing on the nearby Harrisburg University Building and other nearby buildings. Observers have reported that "Red" is flying well.

5/16/2017  ::   Banding Results
On May 10th, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one nestling of undetermined sex. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The first male weighed in at 585 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band the other male that weighed 595 grams; and white tape on the 585 gram nestling of undetermined sex. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
4/18/2017  ::   Three Nestlings!
Around 9:30 this morning, the second chick hatched out. Then, around 12:30 p.m., the third hatchling emerged. Because these three nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge.
4/17/2017  ::   First Hatch!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:00 p.m., the first egg hatched. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the second hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
4/4/2017  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Over the weekend, a small hole was observed one of the four eggs. The adult falcons are no longer incubating it, as it was pushed aside. This egg isn't viable, and it won't hatch. While disappointing, this is not unusual. If it is still intact during banding, the Pennsylvania Game Commission biologists will collect it for pesticide analysis.
3/15/2017  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 12th and the fourth egg this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure.
3/10/2017  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 12:25 p.m. today. The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on the ledge and nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/8/2017  ::   First Egg!
At around 8:16 a.m. today, March 8th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.

1/25/2017  ::   Breaking News From the Nest Ledge!
Since January 11th, a new male peregrine, band code 38/S, has been visiting the nest ledge and observed pair bonding with the resident female. This apparently larger bird was banded in 2010 on the McElhattan Bridge in Clinton County near Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The nearly 14 year-old resident male, band code W/V, was spotted back on the ledge yesterday. The male at this nest site often leaves the area for a week or two and then return when breeding activity typically resumes.

This morning, an unbanded female arrived on the ledge. Based upon observations from staff, there may have been a territorial battle between the females this morning. The resident female was later observed on the ledge, and so far, there are no reports of the unbanded female. It's possible that the challenger may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what to expect for the 2017 nesting season.

2016
10/5/2016  ::   Window Washing
Today, window washers will be cleaning the windows on the front side of the Rachel Carson Building. As an endangered species, building maintenance must be scheduled outside of the breeding season to avoid any disturbances to the nest.
7/29/2016  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The last report of the red-banded female was on June 28th, where she was observed eating on a nearby building and flying in the area. As far as we know she may be okay as no news is good news. The other fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male now stays in the area throughout the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/30/2016  ::   Red - Injured?
The red-banded female may have sustained injuries late last week. The beak and one eye may be injured. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. Any falcon cam watcher who observes red eating should email the date and time of feeding along with a photo, if possible, to ra-epfalcon@pa.gov. She has red tape over a silver leg band on her right leg and a black and green band, 83/BR, on her left leg.
6/13/2016  ::   Fledge Update
The three fledglings likely will remain in the area for another four to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, flight and hunting lessons, leading to their complete independence. While viewers can still watch some activity at the ledge, it will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor making longer and longer flights.
6/3/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Released!
Yesterday around noon, the red-banded female returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the 15th floor ledge. Today around 2 p.m., she took her first flight and seems to be doing well.

Both males are flying extremely well and learning advanced flight and hunting techniques, including the spectacular dive, called a stoop, where peregrines can reach speeds of more than 200 mph!

6/1/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Update - No Fractures!
Good news! The red-banded female, who was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center on Friday, does not have any fractures. She is flying in the flight cage among perches building strength. As long as she's fully recovered, she may be released onto the building later this week. The wildlife rehabilitator noted that red is very aggressive, an important survival characteristic for this wild peregrine's success.
5/31/2016  ::   News about Red-Banded Female and Fledging Update
On Friday, May 27th, an officer from the Harrisburg Police Department retrieved a grounded red-banded female. She was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center for examination and treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the building. We'll keep the viewers updated about her progress.

Both males are flying well and are receiving flight lessons from the adults. Soon they will start learning to hunt.

5/25/2016  ::   Fledging Update
On Monday, May 23rd, the white-banded male made the first flight around 3 p.m. He landed on the roof of the nearby train station. He was later rescued, examined and released to the roof. Yesterday, the blue-banded male fledged and safely landed on a lower roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
5/4/2016  ::   Banding Results
Yesterday, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one female. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The female weighed in at 715 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 535 gram male; white tape on another 535 gram male. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 23rd.
4/19/2016  ::   Update on the Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, the fourth egg did not hatch, and at this point, it is highly unlikely that it will. While this is discouraging, it is normal. However, the other three nestlings all seem to be feeding, growing and doing well!
4/18/2016  ::   Three Nestlings!
On Friday evening, the third nestling emerged around 7:30 p.m.

The fourth egg hasn't hatched, and at this point, it is unlikely that it will. While discouraging, this is normal. That said in past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see. The other three young falcons, called eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!

4/15/2016  ::   Eggs Hatching!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:10 p.m., the first egg hatched. Sometime overnight, the second egg hatched as well. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the third hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/29/2016  ::   Nest Box Update
The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days, so we can expect the first egg to hatch around mid-April. The male has been hunting regularly for both falcons and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/14/2016  ::   Fourth Egg!
On Saturday around 10 a.m., the fourth egg arrived!
3/10/2016  ::   Third Egg!
Early this morning before dawn, the female laid the third egg! We should start to see the female doing more incubation. Last year, the female laid four eggs, so we'll have to wait a day or two to see if she lays another egg.
3/8/2016  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg before dawn this morning! The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/7/2016  ::   First Egg!
At around 7:11 a.m. on Saturday, March 5th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the nest meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The camera angles now are set for close views into the scrape.

2/24/2016  ::   2016 Nesting Season Update
The adults have renewed their pair bond and are spending more time together at the nest ledge. Viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior and breeding activity. This courtship behavior includes vocal interactions, hunting skills, food offerings and spectacular displays of flight. The male does these acts seemingly to demonstrate his ability to be a good provider. The first egg should arrive around mid-March.

The male is entering his 13th year. He fledged from the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003. The nearly 7 year old female fledged from the PA/NJ Turnpike Bridge in Bucks County in 2009.

For more information, photos and updates, be sure to follow the falcons on Twitter and Instagram @falconchatter or on Flickr at falconchatter.

2/12/2016  ::   Live Feed of Harrisburg's Famous Peregrine Falcons Returns Just in Time for Valentine's Day
Love is in the air in Harrisburg as the city's famous pair of peregrine falcons have returned to their nest on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building just in time for Valentine's Day. To celebrate, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today launched a redesigned falcon website that features a high definition, three-camera live video feed of the nest that will now be streamed year-round. The site also provides more opportunities for people to interact through social media.

Valentine's Day is typically the time when the falcons renew their courtship behavior. The male will offer food to the female and put on a spectacular display of flight and hunting skills, all to impress her and prove his ability to be a good provider. There also is some vocal interaction at the nest.

"Providing a live feed of the peregrine falcons has helped to teach a generation of Pennsylvania school students and the public about the connection between wildlife and our environment," DEP Secretary John Quigley said. "It underscores the effects we humans have on the natural world and how we can all be better stewards."

The redesigned falcon website includes new interactive features like Instagram and Flickr where users can upload their own wildlife photos and even retweet a falcon valentine on Twitter. Visitors can learn about the falcons' history in Harrisburg, view a calendar of seasonal activity and link to other bird cams from around the state. The live video will now be streamed year-round instead of ending in June. Favorite website features like information and lesson plans for teachers and the Falcon Wire are still available.

The 13-year old male falcon has occupied the nest site at the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years. This is considered old for a wild peregrine, so at some point, a new male may challenge him for the nest site. The seven-year-old female is entering her fourth year at this nest site.

If their courtship is successful, the first of several eggs should arrive around mid-March. The first egg of 2015 arrived March 16. Since 2000, 58 of the 69 eggs produced at the nest have hatched. Thirty-four were females, and 23 males (in 2008, the sex of one of the young falcons could not be determined). The eggs typically hatch in mid-May and the young falcons take their first flights in June.

"This nest site in Harrisburg is one of the most productive ones in the state and its success is due in large part to our online community" Quigley said. "We thank our wonderful volunteers who look out for the young falcons when they're learning to fly, and our online viewers around the globe who keep tabs on their every move!"

To view the new website and video feed, visit DEP's website at www.dep.pa.gov/falcon.

2015
6/26/2015  ::   Streaming Video Time Extended
The streaming video will now end Tuesday, June 30th.
6/25/2015  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
The juveniles are spending more time in the air, getting flight and hunting lessons from the adults. This means they're spending less time at the ledge. The live stream feed will end tomorrow, June 26th. The still image capture is available year-round from the DEP Falcon Page.
6/4/2015  ::   Update from the Ledge!
This week, Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers and staff have been continuously watching the three female fledglings making flights around the city. The white-banded female has been flying successfully today after spending yesterday on a small ledge near the Capitol.

Unfortunately, late yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female died after flying into a window. There are a lot of hazards for the young falcons at urban nest sites including window strikes.

The red-banded female took her first flight early this morning and landed on a low roof on the Rachel Carson Building. She attempted to make another flight but landed on the ground near the main entrance. The DEP staff and interns rescued, examined and released her onto the roof of the building.

6/1/2015  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female fledged prematurely. She was rescued, examined and placed on the roof of the building. She's been getting regular feedings from the adults. Soon, she'll take flight intentionally and gaining strength and flying skills, will return to the nest ledge.
5/21/2015  ::   Banding Results:
All three nestlings have been determined to be females. They are all in good health. Each has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The largest of the three weighed in at 900 grams and has a white tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 855 gram female; red tape on an 850 gram female. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
5/19/2015  ::   Peregrine Falcon Banding Event!
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM on Thursday, May 21 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be a live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 130 students and teachers will be in attendance. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/27/2015  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, over the weekend, the fourth egg did not completely hatch. At this point, it is unlikely that this hatchling will emerge. While this is discouraging, it is normal. The other eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!
4/23/2015  ::   Three!
Early this morning, the third hatchling was discovered in the nest. All three have taken food from the adult female as of 9:30 AM.
4/22/2015  ::   First Hatch of the Season!
We have two hatchlings! One arrived late yesterday afternoon, April 21st; the second, sometime overnight, ushering in Earth Day 2015!
3/23/2015  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 19th and the fourth egg over the weekend on March 21st. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/17/2015  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 7 p.m. last night!
3/16/2015  ::   First Egg!
At around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape!

The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

3/12/2015  ::   When Will It Happen?
Falcon viewers are in the proverbial waiting room, in anticipation of the big event! Last year, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, the first egg was laid on March 12th. This female, being consistently reliable, should deliver the first egg of the season very soon. Stay tuned as the excitement builds!
3/3/2015  ::   Streaming Video Available
An upgraded version of video streaming is now online and accessibly to falcon viewers. The new sharper images provide an intimate view into the courtship and pre-nesting behavior of the adult peregrine falcon pair here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. Stay tuned as the first egg is expected the second week in March.
2/17/2015  ::   Streaming Video Date Set
The live stream webcasting begins March 2nd.

The adult peregrines have renewed their pair bond. They are spending more time together at the nest ledge and web viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior. The male is providing food offerings to the female, exhibiting his ability to be a strong provider. The female will increase her hunting and feeding activities in advance of nesting activities. Egg production and viability is directly related to nutrition levels in the female.

2/3/2015  ::   Outlook For 2015 Nesting Season
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. By the end of February, the male typically makes food offerings to the female and breeding activity heightens. Live stream webcasting at the ledge is tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, March 2nd.
2014
8/8/2014  ::   Update on Juveniles
The adults have returned to the ledge periodically over the past several weeks. This is an indication that they are no longer flying with the fledges and that our young juvenile peregrines have become independent. Chances are, they have already arrived in one of our great flyways, where they'll be sustained by soon to occur mass migrations. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Falcon Telemetry page from the DEP Falcon Page.
7/2/2014  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
On Friday, July 4th the streaming video will be discontinued for the 2014 season. DEP staff plan to offer streaming video for the 2015 nesting season beginning the first week in February 2015.
6/10/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The morning of Saturday, June 7th the black-banded male was discovered dead on a low roof below the nest ledge. This fledgling impacted some portion of the building, likely a window or skylight. These hazards have been a significant mortality factor over the past 15 years and are typical of urban nest sites.



The other three fledges are doing well, getting flight lessons from the adults. This includes in-flight food transfers providing them with the challenge of attaining food with reliance on their own flight skills.

6/5/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The red-banded female was rescued from a glass enclosed balcony yesterday afternoon and released from the roof of the building. All four of the fledges are now flying to and from nearby buildings. Soon, they'll get advanced flight lessons from the adults.
6/3/2014  ::   What's Next?
The fledglings will remain in the area for 4 to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, then flight and hunting lessons, leading to complete independence. Activity at the ledge will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor, the habitat type that lead breeding adults to this location over 15 years ago.
6/3/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
All four of the eyases have taken their first flight. Early this morning, the red-banded female attempted her first airborne adventure. An adventure it was too; she landed on the sidewalk in front of the building where she was promptly rescued and placed on top of the building. The 2014 Rachel Carson brood of four are now referred as fledglings. This is one of the most critical times in their young lives. The highest mortality at a nest site occurs within the first week of fledging. Watch and rescue crews have proven once again that this annual vigil is well worth the time and effort involved to safeguard this endangered raptor.
5/30/2014  ::   Fledging Update
Early this morning, the green-banded male made his first flight landing on a lower ledge of the Rachel Carson Building. After a few more short flights, the male landed on the Aberdeen Street sidewalk. He's was rescued, examined and released onto the building's roof.



The black-banded male made some short flights and now is on a ledge of the neighboring Harrisburg University Building.



The Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers are keeping a close eye on the young fledges.

5/29/2014  ::   Eyases Nearly Ready to Take Flight!
At 6:15 PM last evening, May 28th the black-banded male eyas fledged prematurely, catching a gust of wind while wing-flapping at the edge of the nest ledge. He was rescued by afterhours watch and rescue volunteers and taken to the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. This eyas and his siblings are not quite ready to fledge on their own yet but will be within several days. At this point in their young lives, they are most vulnerable and watch and rescue activities can play a key role in their survival.
5/15/2014  ::   Banding Results
Based on Game Commission banding results, we have two female and two male eyases in this years' brood. All four were examined and appear to be in good health.



Why do we band peregrine falcons?



Biologists place an alphanumeric metal band around the left leg each of the eyases with a falcon-specific code. The band code will be used by wildlife officials to monitor the birds once they leave the nest. In addition, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife band is placed on the eyases' right leg registering each on a federal banding database.



Band code reporting can inform wildlife managers as to how far peregrines migrate, where they establish breeding territory, over-wintering behavior, how long they live and causes of mortality.



Here are some outcomes revealed by banding efforts at the RCSOB:



The original breeding adult female appeared at the Rachel Carson State Office Building (RCSOB) in 1999. She was identified by her band code. By viewing the number on the band on her leg (4/4), officials were able to trace her origin to a nest on the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia. She was banded in 1998. She was the first falcon produced on a bridge in Pennsylvania to be rediscovered at a nest site.



The original male was not banded so his origin and age were unknown. This male was injured in 2003 and wildlife managers deemed him unable to survive in the wild so reuniting him with 4/4 was not an option. After five weeks the female seemed resigned to the fact that he would not return. She bonded with another male. This male was banded on the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003.



Several of Rachel Carson's young falcons have reportedly been nesting in Ohio, Delaware and other locations in Pennsylvania. While their numbers are increasing, the Pennsylvania Game Commission still lists the peregrine falcons as an endangered species in the Commonwealth.

4/28/2014  ::   Young Peregrines Demand More Food
The adults are both actively hunting. The eyases are growing so rapidly that both of the adults must provide as much food as possible. They visit the nest site often to check on the eyases but only briefly and usually off-camera. All is well with the falcon family.
4/22/2014  ::   Fourth Egg Hatches!
Sometime overnight or early this morning, the last of the falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to four!
4/21/2014  ::   Three Nestings!
Yesterday, 4/20, three of the four eggs hatched!

For the last egg, look for white spots on it, which is an indication that the last hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.

4/17/2014  ::   First Hatch Soon
Based on the timing from the nesting season last year, we should expect the first hatch within a day or two. The female will move off the eggs occasionally for the male to take some incubation duties and to rotate the eggs. As this activity is happening we may see signs of pipping, or breaking out of the shell by a hatchling.
4/8/2014  ::   Update From the Nest Box
We can expect the first egg to hatch around the 20th of April. This female has been consistent within her reproductive cycle. The male has been hunting regularly and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/19/2014  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the fourth egg around 9:30 a.m. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/18/2014  ::   Three Eggs!
The female laid the second egg on Saturday, March 15th and the third on Monday, March 17th!
3/13/2014  ::   First Egg!
At around 5 p.m. yesterday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
3/10/2014  ::   First Egg Expected Soon!
We can expect the first egg to be laid sometime this week. The best estimate, based on last year's timeline, would be Wednesday or Thursday. The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She rotates her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/11/2014  ::   Live Streaming Begins Friday
This Friday, February 14th, three HD cameras will begin to chronicle activities at the nest ledge. The breeding pair at the Rachel Carson State Office Building fittingly renew their pair-bond around Valentine's Day annually.
2013
10/3/2013  ::   Still Image View
Due to system maintenence, there will be only one view at the ledge for the time being.
7/22/2013  ::   Video Streaming Ends/What's Next for the Juveniles?
The live stream video has ended for the 2013 season. The still image capture will be available year-round.



The juveniles have become confident in their flying and hunting abilities and will soon leave the area.

In the past, Rachel's young falcons have traveled hundreds of miles in all directions. They'll likely spend the fall near a migration corridor, often along the Eastern Seaboard, where the food supply is abundant. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Peregrine Falcon page and click on the Satellite Telemetry button. These pages chronicle the movements of two juveniles affixed with satellite transmitters before dispersing from the Rachel Carson nest in 2002.

6/28/2013  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
All four of the Peregrine Falcon juveniles are flying confidently and honing their hunting skills. They have been spending less time at the ledge so as to become more independent. At times they return for rest, at nightfall, for protection from the elements, or if they are hungry and have had an unsuccessful hunt. After fledging, juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. The adult falcons participate in their young's practice of flying and hunting, bringing them food if they have not been able to hunt their own, and even doing food drops to teach them how to dive. After these skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.
6/10/2013  ::   Fledge/Rescue Summary
The young male (yellow band) was the first to fledge, the morning of May 31st. The morning of June 1st, the largest of the brood (red band) fledged. It was a busy season for the watch and rescue crews as six rescues were undertaken. All four fledges are flying strong at this point. The adults have been observed with the juveniles delivering food in flight and giving advanced flying lessons.
6/5/2013  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledges were at the ledge this morning. They have since been seen at various perches around the city. Milk crates were placed inside the 16th floor balcony in case they land inside again and get trapped, they can hop out to the railing.
6/3/2013  ::   Blue Banded Female Released
The blue-banded female was returned onto the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building after being released from the wildlife rehabilitator around 11 a.m. The female has taken a few short flights to the nearby buildings and is doing okay. She was rescued by the Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteer crew on Saturday, June 1st.
6/3/2013  ::   All falcons fledged
On the morning of Friday, May 31st, the yellow-banded male was the first fledge. After a few short flights, he landed inside a balcony on the 16th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. He was later rescued and released onto the roof.

Over the weekend, the blue-banded female was rescued and taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center because of exhaustion and dehydration. She has recovered and will be released onto the building later today.

The other falcons--white-band and red-band are making short flights around the building. DEP Environmental Education staff, interns and volunteers are coordinating the Falcon Watch and Rescue Program.

5/23/2013  ::   Banding Results
There are three females, one male. One of the females weighed in at 990 grams, the biggest we've ever banded at the Rachel Carson nest. They all had a physical exam and none showed any signs of disease, parasite infestation or injury.
5/13/2013  ::   Banding Event
The annual Peregrine Falcon banding event will be held Tuesday, May 21 at 1:00 PM in the Rachel Carson State Office Building Auditorium in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will be produced and live webcast by Commonwealth Media Services from the DEP Falcon Page. DEP is inviting teachers, with their students and non-formal educators to attend, through a pre-registration process. Biologists will weigh, examine and band the soon to be nearly four week old eyases.
5/1/2013  ::   Busy Birds
As the nestlings grow, their demand for food increases, keeping the male very busy. Soon, the nestlings will be feathered and developed enough that the female will hunt more regularly, typically bring back larger birds. It's all about biomass now and keeping up with the needs of the nestlings.
4/29/2013  ::   Full Brood of Four
Early on the morning of Tuesday, April 23rd the fourth chick hatched out. Because these four nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge. The next big event for the peregrines is the banding event, scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st at 1 PM.
4/22/2013  ::   Eggs Hatch!
Sometime between 2 and 3 PM on Saturday, April 20th, the first egg hatched. Early Sunday morning the second hatchling arrived. By Monday morning, April 22nd, three nestlings were being cared for by the adults. If viable, the fourth egg should hatch soon. This close hatch time among the nestlings is good news because they should compete for food without one or another being disadvantaged by being smaller and weaker than their nest-mates.
4/10/2013  ::   Incubation
Based on past reproductive timelines, we can expect the first egg to hatch around April 21st. The male seems to be very successful in hunting and providing for the female as she does most of the incubation. The male will do around one third of the incubation, allowing the female to hunt on her own, typically taking larger birds.
3/20/2013  ::   Egg Number Four
The fourth egg was observed in the nest around 8 AM this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch... within several days we'll know for certain. The female will do most of the incubation, as the male increases his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The female will hunt occasionally throughout the incubation period.
3/18/2013  ::   Three Eggs!
Sometime last night, the third egg arrived.

The adults now will incubate more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/15/2013  ::   2 eggs!
The female just laid second egg at about 2:37 p.m. today.
3/13/2013  ::   First Egg!
Late last night or early this morning, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid five days later than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/14/2013  ::   Live Streaming Video Begins!
The live stream video begins today! New HD cameras have been installed, providing a more crisp view of the fascinating behavior of Rachel's Peregrines. Activities at the ledge have been lighter this year. The peregrines have been spending more time away from the ledge. This may be because a ranging male has been persistent in his challenge to the resident male. There have been many intense battles at the ledge in recent weeks. Once this rivalry has been resolved, activity at the ledge should increase.
1/31/2013  ::   Still Image Issues
The still image capture is being handled by a new software program. Media staff are working to resolve problems that result in the image failing to refresh regularly.
2012
12/17/2012  ::   New Cameras Installed and Running
The new HD digital cameras have been installed. The still image capture is currently getting feed from one of three cameras. Later, networking hardware will be installed to bring the other two cameras into a viewing sequence, covering most of the ledge area. By the first week in February, the system should be ready for HD live stream broadcast.
11/28/2012  ::   Camera Upgrades
The cameras at the ledge will be replaced with new, state-of-the-art cameras to improve the image we provide for the 2013 nesting season. By Monday, December 3rd, the still image should be back on line.
8/8/2012  ::   Update from the Ledge
The live stream video has ended for the season. The still image capture is available year-round. The adult pair has been spending time together at the ledge and throughout the city. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good.
7/17/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Both of the adults have been at the ledge. This is a firm indication that the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The new female has been laying and rotating in the scrape. This behavior seems to be practice for the next nesting season which will get underway early in February of 2013.
6/22/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledglings have been sighted at various locations away from the nest ledge and occasionally visit the ledge briefly. They seem to have no interest in returning to the ledge. It is likely that the adult male is still flying with them and giving them advance hunting lessons. By the end of June, they should set out on their first long journey.
6/13/2012  ::   News from the Nest Ledge!
The new adult female falcon has been in the scrape with the male apparently pair-bonding.

She is a large falcon from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA, and was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

6/7/2012  ::   Female Falcon Update
This afternoon, an adult female peregrine was observed on the ledge. The female is banded. Based upon her alphanumeric band codes, she is from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA. She was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

Both fledges are doing well, and improving their hunting skills.

6/4/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
Both of the fledglings have been observed in flight, at times with the adult male, getting advance lessons. They are being fed at the ledge occasionally. They have reached to the point now where they are capable of receiving in-flight food exchanges. They're developing their skills rapidly.

There have been no reported sightings of any other adult peregrine appearing at or near the ledge.

5/29/2012  ::   Significant Happenings!
There is much to report on activities at the nest ledge over the holiday weekend. On Saturday, May 26th at 6:48 AM, the blue-banded eyas became a fledgling. His first attempt at flight resulted in a rescue from a low roof where a skylight prevented him from taking another attempt at flight. He was placed on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building and has been flying well since. At 7:25 AM on Memorial Day, the red-banded eyas flew and returned to the ledge. Today, the red-banded fledgling was rescued from the street after a precarious flight from a nearby treetop. The fledgling was returned to the nest ledge.

Thursday and Friday of last week the adult male seemed to be exhibiting attraction behavior, that is, he was sending notice to any passing female that he's available. Friday at 6:25 PM, a female arrived at the nest ledge and flew away. She has been spotted sporadically since the original sighting. Whether or not she is banded remains to be determined.

5/25/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday, just after 6AM, the red-banded eyas was swept off the ledge by a gust of wind as he flapped his wings. He was rescued from a nearby ally and returned to the ledge. At this age the eyases aren't quite ready to fly but they have the ability to make clumsy, relatively light landings. Volunteers are watching the young birds all day long from this point until they fledge and successfully return to the ledge. The adult male is doing a great job providing for the eyases on his own as there is still no sign of the adult female.

The eyases are very mobile on the ledge now and are sometimes completely out of camera view. They're spending time on a small ledge opposite the radius column behind the scrape.

5/22/2012  ::   Update on Rachel's Falcons
Despite daily search efforts, the adult female has not been located. The male has been providing food for the eyases. He is also a very good teacher. After the eyases make their first attempt at flight, he'll provide the fledges with flight and hunting lessons. We'll be observing the progress of the fledges and rescue them if they make any bad landings.
5/17/2012  ::   Falcon Sightings
The adult resident female has sustained an injury or disease that has rendered her unable to effectively hunt, feed herself and the eyases. The male has redoubled his hunting activities and is providing for the eyases. DEP staff has been trying to locate the female in hopes of live capturing her for treatment at a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center. Any information on her whereabouts would be appreciated. The female is one third larger than the male and is not banded. The male is banded. Falcon watchers can report information via the falcon page email account or call DEP's Environmental Education Center at 717 772-1828.
5/11/2012  ::   Banding Results
This year we have two male eyases- one weighs 560g, the other 590g. They're both in good health. The banding event seems to awaken the eyases to the fact that they can get out of the scrape and explore the nest ledge. This is critical to their physical development. They will begin building the strength and agility that will be necessary for them to attempt their first flight, which should happen in a few short weeks.
5/8/2012  ::   Banding Event
The banding event will be live webcast at 1 PM, tomorrow May 9th. Over 150 students, teachers and youth groups will be in attendance. Many of the teachers who will arrive with their students also attended a falcon teacher workshop here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building on April 3rd. This year we'll have two nestlings. They'll be weighed, examined and the sex will be determined before leg bands are attached. These bands will provide for an individual signature that identifies the birds when they fledge, disperse and seek out their own nesting territories.
4/30/2012  ::   Egg Update
There will be two nestlings banded at the May 9th banding event. Last year, one chick hatched for a total of three young produced at the nest over two years. This female was very young last year, and typically young peregrine females will lay eggs that are not viable. Even with adult females, one of four eggs not viable is not unusual. So there is reason for optimism in the sense that this pair has doubled the number of nestlings this year and as she matures, this female should produce eggs with a greater hatch success rate. The unhatched eggs in the nest will be added to the eggs from last year's nesting season and submitted for testing.
4/17/2012  ::   Two Hatchlings!
Yesterday afternoon, two of the chicks began to pip out of their egg shells. By early this morning, two hatchlings appeared from under the brooding female. They have been fed and appear to be active and healthy. From this point on, the adults will no longer be bored, incubating 24-7. Instead, they will be actively hunting most of the day to provide for the rapidly growing eyases.
4/16/2012  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon!
Based on past incubation periods, we can expect the first egg to hatch soon. The female is exhibiting behavior that would suggest this as well. Some of the eggs have white spots on them, also an indication that the first hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/15/2012  ::   Fourth Egg!
Around 7 AM this morning, the female falcon laid her fourth egg. We'll have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/13/2012  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg was laid at around 5 PM yesterday, March 12th. The female appears to be on her normal reproductive cycle.
3/12/2012  ::   Second Egg Arrives!
The second egg was laid at 6:26 AM, Saturday, March 10th. Thanks to all who emailed, reporting the time the egg was first observed.

The adults will incubate these two eggs only occasionally- when the third egg is laid, more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first two hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/8/2012  ::   First Egg of the Season!
The female exhibited egg laying behavior, late in the afternoon yesterday. This morning, we have the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid three days earlier than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/27/2012  ::   Nesting Season Well Underway
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. The male has been observed bringing food offerings to the female and breeding activity appears to be normal. There have been reports of conflicts in the sky, possibly the unbanded male returning to challenge the resident male. At this point, it is likely that the resident male and female will drive off any interlopers. Their bond is strong and their territory is mutually valued and defended.
1/24/2012  ::   Improved Camera Coverage
A third camera has put into the scan sequence to better cover activity at the nest ledge. As far as we know at this point there are still two males competing for breeding male dominance. Any activity observed from this point on is critical in determining how this nesting season will play out. The adult female is not banded. The new male is not banded. The resident male is banded and is somewhat smaller than the new male. DEP staff are observing the birds, as time allows, in order to identify subtle differences in plumage and markings among the three peregrine falcons.
1/19/2012  ::   Breaking News on the Resident Male!
The resident male, band code W/V, has reclaimed his territory! He was spotted at the ledge this afternoon in the company of the adult female. No sightings today of the unbanded male. It remains to be determined whether or not there was a territorial battle between the males or if this just sets the stage for a battle. Males at this nest site have had the habit of leaving the area for a week or two and then returning. Breeding activity typically takes place at this time of year so if the battle has not happened, it will likely happen soon. Any information that falcon watchers can provide about the behavior of these birds is of great value to DEP education staff monitoring the site. Information can be reported to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link below the web image window on the DEP falcon page.
2011
12/28/2011  ::   News From the Nest Ledge
A new male peregrine has been visiting the nest ledge since the first week in November. This bird is not banded and appears to be somewhat larger and younger than the resident male. The resident male peregrine was last seen in conflict with the new male on November 30th. The new male has since made food offerings to the female and they appear to be pair-bonding. It is likely that the new male was successful in his challenge for the nest site and resident female. The resident male may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what we can expect for the 2012 nesting season.
7/14/2011  ::   Fledgling and Video Streaming Update
The fledgling is reportedly still visiting the ledge regularly. We can assume that he is also getting advanced hunting lessons and is hunting on his own as well. Soon, he should become completely independent and begin his first year journey to places unknown.

The live stream video is scheduled to end tomorrow, July 15th 2011.

7/6/2011  ::   Update
The fledgling has been observed returning to the ledge most evenings. He should soon become completely independent. The adults are seldom seen at the ledge because they're probably still giving the fledgling hunting lessons. The new adult female may remain here throughout the remainder of summer, and possibly the fall and winter, as the original female did. Or, she may spend the winter elsewhere. This is all conjecture at this point because territorial behavior varies among individual breeding peregrines.
6/6/2011  ::   Fledge/Watch and Rescue Summary
The 2011 Falcon Watch and Rescue Program for the one fledgling Peregrine Falcon nesting on the 15th Floor of Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was extremely exciting and successful. The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) official volunteer Falcon Watch and Rescue Program was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 31st, with more than 15 individuals volunteering to observe the fledglings who worked in two-hour shifts from approximately 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.



However, our one-and-only fledgling decided to take his first flight a little earlier than expected, fledging around 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 27th. DEP called off the Falcon Watch and Rescue that was scheduled for May 31st - June 3rd, but the weekend and afterhours volunteer coordinators arranged volunteers to watch throughout the Memorial Holiday Weekend.



This year no falcon rescues took place! Throughout the week, the adult falcons encouraged the fledgling to take flight by enticing him with food while performing "fly-bys". In order to prepare for flight, the juvenile falcon would strengthen his wings by flapping and running from one end of the ledge to the other. He also had some practice take-offs by running, jumping and flapping his wings at the same time.





On Friday, May 27th, the silver-banded male fledged at approximately 9:00 a.m. and landed on top of the Strawberry Square Building. He relaxed there for about 10 minutes then attempted his next flight towards the 333 Market Street. He wasn't strong enough, however, to gain the height to the top, so the adult female guided him to the top of the Rachel Carson Building. Within an hour of this first take off from the ledge, he was back on the ledge again to rest.



After his first flight, he continued to hone his flying skills by making short flights to buildings surrounding the Rachel Carson Building. Some of the most frequently visited locations included the Pennsylvania Department of Education building located at 333 Market Street, Strawberry Square, and the Forum Place Building.



By Wednesday, June 1st, DEP concluded its 2011 Flacon Watch and Rescue Program. At that time, it was determined that the fledgling had improved his flying skills enough to maneuver safely and return to the 15th floor ledge.

5/31/2011  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledgling has been seen flying with both of the adults, seemingly getting flying lessons. He's getting stronger each day. Soon, he should get hunting lessons. This involves the adults transferring food in-flight and then assisting the fledgling in pursuit of prey. He seems to be on a fast track to independence. We expect him to gain full independence within five weeks. Then, he will likely leave the area traveling to unknown destinations. To learn more about this behavior, click on the Falcon Telemetry link on the DEP Falcon Page to view telemetry points and dates posted from the 2002 study.
5/27/2011  ::   The Fledge!
The little male ran the length of the ledge and took flight at 9:15 AM. He landed on nearby building. Within 15 minutes he was on top of the Rachel Carson State Office Building, his home building. Soon after, he returned to the nest ledge where he was rewarded with a meal. This fledgling now holds the record for earliest fledge and quickest return to the ledge. Watch and rescue crews will continue to track his whereabouts and ensure that if he gets into trouble they can respond and keep him out of harm's way.
5/26/2011  ::   Nestling Update
The eyas has been really active at the nest ledge. He's exhibiting behavior that suggests he may fledge prematurely. Watch and rescue crews are watching him closely in case he does fly and would have to be rescued from the street. The camera views, although not very appealing, provide the best view of the edges of the ledge where the eyas would take flight from. Our first priority is to have this view on streaming video so we can react if and when he does fledge.
5/19/2011  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, there is only one nestling at the ledge. Based on weight(660 grams)and the diameter of the legs the nestling was determined to be a male. The banding team placed an alphanumeric band on the nestling with characters large enough to read with binoculars and another US Fish and Wildlife band with a code that can be read with the bird in hand. The nestling was in good health. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight this young bird will take. He should fledge in about two weeks.
5/16/2011  ::   Banding Event Tomorrow
The banding event for 2011 will take place tomorrow, May 17th at 1 PM. The nestling appears to be in good health though it will get a thorough physical examination at the event. More than 170 students, teachers and volunteers will view the event live at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will also be live webcast through streaming video. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/26/2011  ::   Hatch Update
The remaining eggs in the scrape have had little incubation so it's likely we'll have only one nestling this season. We think this new female is very young and as such it's not unusual for her to lay infertile eggs. This may actually be good in the sense that she'll have less pressure in giving flight and hunting lessons to this nestling when it fledges than if the full clutch had hatched. Looking back to the 2000 season, mortality of the fledglings was high (75%) perhaps due to the inexperience of 4/4, the original Rachel Carson female in training the fledges to attain the skills necessary to reach independence.
4/20/2011  ::   First Hatch!
At 5:30 PM last evening, viewers noticed that one of the four eggs showed signs of "pipping out". By this morning, the first hatchling of the season had arrived. This nestling will get regular feedings as will the others when they hatch out.
4/13/2011  ::   First Hatch Expected Soon
The first hatch of the season is expected to happen the week of April 18th. The new female's reproductive clock appears to be around 9 days earlier than the original female. This will result in the earlier scheduling of key activities as well. The banding event will take place on Tuesday, May 17th and the watch and rescue activities will begin on Tuesday, May 31st.
3/30/2011  ::   Harrisburg Offspring Discovered at Nest!
The green-banded female from the 2009 nesting season has claimed her own nesting territory. This female was the largest of four females and one male banded on May 27th 2009. Her band codes were confirmed by falcon watchers on March 6th. She displaced an established female at a bridge scrape near Rocky River Metro Parks in Brookpark, Ohio, a few miles south of Cleveland. The site is close to Cleveland Hopkins Airport and the entranceway to NASA. No reports yet of eggs in the nest but there have been many sightings of breeding activity. The Harrisburg watch and rescue crews should be commended here because if not for their efforts in rescuing this female from the street several days after fledging, she may not have survived.
3/18/2011  ::   Egg Number Four!
Early this morning, the fourth egg arrived. This may be the full clutch, but we have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/16/2011  ::   Third Egg!
Now that there are three eggs in the nest, incubation time will increase. We can also now begin to estimate the date of the first hatch. With an average incubation time if 34 days, we can expect the first hatch to take place the third week in April.
3/14/2011  ::   Second Egg!
The second egg was delivered early Sunday morning, March 13th. Typically, a full clutch would have three to five eggs. The previous female would consistently lay five eggs to complete the clutch. Both of the adults will spend long hours hunting so the female can meet her nutritional needs during egg development. Soon, the hunting duties will shift primarily to the male, as the female spends more time incubating the eggs.
3/11/2011  ::   First Egg!
This morning at 9:30 an egg was observed in the scrape. The new female was eight days earlier, on average than her predecessor, 4/4 in delivering the first egg of the season. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins. From all indications, this female is very young. As such, it will be difficult to say with any certainty that this year will be as productive as past nesting seasons but it will certainly be interesting to watch and find out.
2/17/2011  ::   Video Streaming Begins
The live stream video web hosting has begun for the 2011 season. What's new for this nesting season? Most significantly, there is a new female in the nest. She arrived the first week in September of last year. The second week in September, an employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challengers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out their own nesting territory. For more on the life and legacy of the original female, click on the Falcon Stories link on the DEP Falcon Page.



The new female is not banded so her age and geographic origin cannot be determined. However, when she arrived, she sported a bit of rusty brown coloring, an indication that she was emerging from juvenile plumage. In terms of predicting the date the first egg will arrive, all bets are off. In order to provide the best chance to view the laying of the first egg, the camera will be fixed on the nest box from now until the nestlings begin moving out of the box.

2/7/2011  ::   Rachel's Falcons Begin 2011 Nesting Season
Falcon watchers have reportedly seen breeding activities at the nest ledge. DEP Environmental Education staff are preparing for another season of outreach and education on endangered species reintroduction with Rachel's falcons as the focal point. We're currently seeking approval to contract for the live streaming video (more on this later) and the annual teacher workshop is set for April 12th, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
2010
9/14/2010  ::   There's a New Female in Town!
For the past two weeks there has been a lot of activity at and near the nest ledge. Recently, a new adult female falcon has been seen bonding with the male. The origin of this female is unknown as she is not banded. Email information from web viewers indicates that the resident female is no longer at the ledge. An employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challenging interlopers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out nesting territory. Any information that web viewers care to share would be appreciated. For now, we have set two close camera views at the nest box and perch for observation purposes.
7/21/2010  ::   Blue Band Loses Battle with Trichomoniasis
Due to the trichomoniasis infection, blue lost weight and became more susceptible to secondary infections. He had intestinal parasites, which cleared up with medication, and other secondary infections. He lost weight, and never returned to his weight at the age of banding. His feather development was retarded, and he was not preening himself properly. All of these are the consequences of the initial trich infection. It is indeed a nasty disease. As a result of these conditions, euthanizing became the necessary course of action.
7/13/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
Previously, we reported that the fledges may have dispersed from the area. Viewer emails have indicated that they are still around. Here is information provided by an avid viewer:

"All the birds pretty much are off the ledge & hunkered down somewhere staying cool during the heat of the day, but early every morning the adults can be seen on the ledge, & in the evening, not only can you see the adults, but the kids as well. I've seen the parents on the ledge every day & at least one juvenile every day".

7/9/2010  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 16th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/9/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Will Be Down
The Falcon Cam will be down on Tuesday, July 13th in the morning. Viewers should be able to watch the live Falcon Cam in the afternoon.
7/1/2010  ::   Updates
For the Latest Updates Click on the Falcon Wire News Button
6/30/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
One of the fledges spent several hours resting on the ledge today. With a close camera angle we were able to get a good look at him and he looked fine. The adult male was perched above him on one of the camera housings. Now, they are out together, engaged in flight/hunting lessons. Earlier today, the adult female was spotted doing the same with the other fledge. Blue's condition continues to improve although not at the pace we would like to see. All in all Rachel's falcons are doing fine.
6/24/2010  ::   Update on Blue
The infections/parasites are gone. He's improving daily.

He will not be released here at the Rachel Carson Building-he's not ready. Feather development is still slow and weight is still down. He's not preening, so his flight feathers are slow to come in. Eventually, we would like to release him, but there is no guarantee he'll fully recover. If he does, the release may occur this Fall or Spring of 2011. He will get flying and hunting lessons while in rehabilitation.

6/16/2010  ::   Blue
Blue has gained a little more weight; he now weighs 540 grams. However, he is also being treated for parasites and a secondary protozoan infection. Because of these conditions it is best to keep him in wildlife rehabilitation. The more time that passes, the less likely it is he'll be released to the ledge. If later, he does recover fully, he may be released at another nest site where nestlings are fledging later. If he does not develop 100% strength and vitality he may remain in captivity for educational purposes.
6/11/2010  ::   Fledgling Activity
From yesterday's after hours watch and rescue reports, white took two flights last evening. Today he is perched high on a nearby building. Red has visited the ledge often and continues to investigate rooftops throughout the city. These two fledges should begin their flight/hunting lessons soon.
6/10/2010  ::   The Latest on Blue
Blue will not be released to the ledge this week. Yesterday, his weight was 510 grams. The wildlife rehabilitator would like to get his weight up to 600 grams before considering the release. In addition, his feather development is delayed. We'll keep viewers updated on his progress.
6/9/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
White has remained on the ledge since he was rescued from a boxed in low rooftop yesterday morning. The adults are withholding food from him at this point so that he'll take flight again. Then, many of the food transfers will take place in flight. Red is on top of a nearby building. He's been taking some good strong flights the past two days. Blue should return from wildlife rehab tomorrow or Friday to be released on the nest ledge.
6/8/2010  ::   The Latest News
Red had a good flight from the roof and is on the nest ledge now. The rehabilitator would like blue's feathering to develop a little more before release. We're planning to return blue to the ledge Thursday or Friday of this week.
6/7/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
The two males fledged yesterday from the ledge. From all accounts, the white banded male fledged first at around 9:30 AM. He ended up near the street were he was rescued and placed on the roof of the building. Just after 1 PM white flew from the building and landed on the sidewalk, where again he was rescued. The red banded fledge took his first flight later in the morning. He remained on a low, boxed in rooftop until today at 3:30 PM when he was rescued and placed on the roof. The goal for the fledglings now will be to return to the ledge. There are two teams of watchers keeping an eye on them.



The blue banded male taken for treatment has recovered to the extent the rehabilitator would like to return him to the ledge soon. Thanks to the weekend watch and rescue crew for rescuing white after first flight attempt and briefing DEP staff on these happenings this morning.

6/1/2010  ::   Blue-Banded Male Update
This afternoon, officials from the Game Commission successfully retrieved the blue-banded male falcon that was taken by a wildlife rehabilitator for treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the ledge. The other two eyasses were treated as a precaution and returned to the ledge.
6/1/2010  ::   Update about Blue-Banded Male
At the time of banding, signs of the trichomoniasis (trich) infection were observed in the blue-banded male. The eyas was treated with the recommended dose of antibiotic by the Game Commission's Art McMorris. Trichomoniasis is a fairly widespread infection in young raptors. After careful observation, and in response to public notification that he is not responding well, the Game Commission has decided to retrieve the eyas so that it can be re-examined and, if necessary, treated more extensively off-site by a veterinarian until he is ready to be returned to the nest. The other two eyasses, which did not show signs of trich, will be re-examined as well. Infections, parasites and other maladies are a "fact of life" in wild animals, and we are fortunate that we can give this peregrine the benefit of medical attention.
5/27/2010  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, all of the nestlings are males. The banding team placed colored tape on the nestlings for the purpose of keeping track of them when they fledge. The largest of them, at 690 grams, is sporting white tape; the smallest, at 550 grams, blue and the middle sized nestling, at 590 grams, has red tape. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight these young birds will make. They should begin fledging in about two weeks.
5/26/2010  ::   Banding Event
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM tomorrow, May 27 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 180 students and teachers will be in attendance. Visit the DEP Website at www.depweb.state.pa.us to view the banding event.
5/11/2010  ::   Brood Complete
This year, there is a full brood of three nestlings. Last year and in 2006 there were five. In eight of the nine previous years the brood numbered four. In 2005, there was a full brood of three nestlings. The adult female at this nest site is now 12 years old. It is not unusual for a breeding bird of this age to lay one or two infertile eggs. The birds cannot be disturbed at this critical time so the remaining infertile egg will be retrieved after the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The real work now begins for the adult pair. They will have to hunt continuously to keep up with their rapidly growing brood.
5/7/2010  ::   Status of Eggs
One of the two remaining eggs was broken sometime overnight. There is one unhatched egg remaining. Since there was yolk in the broken egg, it most likely was infertile, or at least, any embryo had little development. If the other egg is not viable, it will begin to decay, and will be vulnerable to breaking under the process of decomposition.
5/6/2010  ::   Status of Unhatched Eggs?
To date, the two remaining eggs have not yet hatched. In past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see what happens. By this weekend, hopefully we'll see the hatches.
5/3/2010  ::   Three Eggs Hatched!
The second egg reportedly hatched around noon on Saturday, May 1st. The third egg hatched early this morning, May 3rd, sometime before dawn. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the fourth egg hatches.
4/29/2010  ::   First Egg Hatched!
Around 2:45 p.m. today, the first Peregrine Falcon nestling, called an eyas, hatched out of its egg. The young falcon used an egg tooth on its beak to break through the shell. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the next egg hatches.
4/27/2010  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon
We expect the first egg to hatch the end of this week or into the weekend. The hatchlings will take food shortly after emerging from the egg. When all of the eggs have hatched, the adults will have to hunt and provide food for the nestlings for the following eight weeks as they grow and develop. Even after fledging in June, the young birds will be dependent on the adults to deliver food in-flight until the fledges attain independence.
4/13/2010  ::   Email Notification
If you are signed up on our educator database and have requested email notification about big events and happenings related to the falcons, this message is for you- The next big happening will be the hatching of the first egg, around the end of April to the first day or two in May. Viewers who want to catch this kind of action should visit the Falcon Page often and may also follow the falcons on Twitter- click on the Twitter link on the Falcon Page. To help anticipate when these big things will happen, click on the Falcon Wire News link and read the updates from the 2009 nesting season.
4/8/2010  ::   Juvenile Female Claims New Territory
The red-band coded female that fledged from the Rachel Carson State Office Building two years ago has been spotted at a nest site in Wilmington, Delaware; she may be responsible for killing the resident female and taking over the scrape.

This female was banded on May 22nd 2008 and weighed 795 g, the largest of the four nestlings banded that day. The Rachel Carson female and her mother, the nesting female at the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia from 1998 until 2005 are know to biologist as intensely aggressive and territorial. These traits have clearly been passed on to their progeny.

To see the young female at her new scrape, visit http://www.dosbirds.org/wilmfalcons

3/30/2010  ::   Egg Number Five!
Shortly after noon today, March 30th, the fifth egg arrived. This is probably the full clutch. From this point until the eggs hatch around the end of April, the male will be the primary hunter, providing food for the female. He will also incubate the eggs about 30% of the incubation period. After hatching, up until the eyases fledge in the middle of June, both of the adults will rely on their hunting skills to provide for a rapidly growing family. The abundance of migrating and resident birds in the area will be key to the success of the falcon nesting season here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
3/29/2010  ::   Egg Number Four!
Sometime after nightfall on Saturday, March 27th and 11:20 AM on the 28th the fourth egg arrived. This could be the full clutch or as in the past three years, the full clutch may end up numbering five.
3/25/2010  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg arrived sometime in the early morning of March 25th. One or two more will probably complete the clutch.
3/23/2010  ::   Second Egg!
Early this morning, March 23rd, the female Peregrine Falcon laid the second egg. As the clutch grows, the adults will begin brooding for longer periods of time. This progressive brooding behavior allows the eggs to hatch at close intervals. The male and female will share brooding duties; the male will sit 30 to 40 percent of the entire time it takes to hatch the full clutch.
3/22/2010  ::   First Egg!
The first egg was laid at approximately 8:15 AM on Saturday, March 20th. We can expect the next to arrive very soon. This egg will get very little incubation as the even growth and development of the eyases is a very important factor in nest production; more to follow on this later.
3/18/2010  ::   First Egg Expected Soon
Rachel's female falcon should lay the first egg of the season within the next few days. She is expected to lay 4 to 5 eggs. The first two eggs will get little incubation time. After the third egg, incubation time is increased. When the clutch is full, incubation is constant. The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female does most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The camera angles will now be set for close views into the scrape.
3/11/2010  ::   Camera Angles
Soon the cameras will be set to view inside the nest box. For now the most interesting activities are seen at the current camera compositions. The southeast corner of the ledge and the perching post are habitual hangouts for these birds. Breeding activity often takes place on the southeast corner as well.
3/9/2010  ::   Eggs Before Easter
The first egg of the season should arrive within two weeks time. Last year the first egg arrived on the 21st of March. The adult female has been within two to three days on this egg-laying schedule for the past ten years. For the past four years the female has laid a full clutch of five eggs. Egg production is directly related to nutrition, the availability of food and the ability of a healthy breeding pair to attain and metabolize it. The happy irony is that this is an ongoing tribute to Rachel Carson and her work- most notably the 1962 book Silent Spring. Peregrine falcons have made their home on the fifteenth floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years.
2/4/2010  ::   Male Peregrine Returns!
At 1:25 PM today, February 4, 2010 the Rachel Carson male peregrine was spotted on the southeast corner of the ledge. This ends his long absence from the ledge and renews expectations for another successful nesting season.
1/27/2010  ::   Adult Male Sightings
Typically this pair of peregrines can be found spending much of their time together this time of year. The female has been seen frequently at the ledge, the male has not been spotted for some time. This male does tend to wander for long periods of time and possibly at great distances. If he is not with this female the first week in February we can speculate that something may have happened to him. In any case, web cam viewers are urged to email via the Contact DEP link to report peregrine sightings at the ledge. The male is one third smaller than the female and has been known to perch on top of one of the camera housings to the left of the orange column on the wide camera view of the ledge.
1/11/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Image Down for Maintenance
The still image capture will be down for hardware maintenance tomorrow, January 12th through Thursday, January 14th. Viewers should be able to see images at the ledge again Friday morning.
2009
7/22/2009  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 24th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/22/2009  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
There has been no confirmed sighting of the yellow banded female over the past three days. In order for the Game Commission to assist her she would have to regularly visit a known roosting site. If we can get reliable information about such a site, a live capture may be attempted. The adult male and female have been observed resting for long periods of time. This is an indication that the juveniles have moved out of the area. They may return sporadically over the next few weeks but soon they'll be completely independent.
7/17/2009  ::   Yellow Injured
The yellow banded female has sustained injuries that could be life threatening. The lower beak is badly injured and one eye appears to be injured as well. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. The Game Commission is considering a live capture of the fledgling to determine if the injuries can be treated. Any falcon watchers who know of yellow's favorite perches and or behavior patterns that may help in locating the fledgling should post this information to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link on the Falcon Page.
6/25/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The four surviving fledglings are doing well. They have been seen taking flight from the nest ledge to their seemingly favorite food drop perches. The new Harrisburg University for Science and Technology has been a favorite haunt for the fledges. The building has many wide ledges at different levels providing easy access for the birds and great viewing for University staffers. As we move through June and into July there will be less happening at the nest ledge. For the falcon watchers on the street the action has just begun. The birds are getting flight and hunting lessons from both of the adults. Soon they will take their show on the road and fly with the fledges up and down the Susquehanna River Corridor. These corridors are not only watercourses to the Sea but also bird migration pathways and will forever signal prime feeding and breeding habitat to the Peregrine Falcon.
6/15/2009  ::   The Latest on the Fledglings
The blue-banded female fledged on Saturday. She was rescued on Sunday and placed on the roof. All four of the surviving fledglings are now doing well and getting flight lessons from the adults.
6/12/2009  ::   Fledgling News
The blue-banded female remains on the nest ledge. She appears to be in good health. She is probably the youngest and is taking her good time before fledging. The green-banded female was rescued from the street last evening and released on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building- she returned to the ledge this morning. The yellow and red-banded females continue to take short flights back and forth from lower rooftops. The white-banded male has not been as fortunate. He was discovered injured along a nearby rail line this morning. Both of his legs were severely injured. He was transported to a nearby Wildlife Rescue Center where he will be euthanized.
6/11/2009  ::   Status of Fledglings
The yellow banded female was returned to us from wildlife rehabilitation and we released her on the roof around 2 PM. She took flight within a half hour and is doing okay. The red and green banded females have been observed taking short flights to lower building rooftops. The white banded male has not yet been located. The blue banded female is content for now to rest at the ledge; she'll fledge in her own time.
6/10/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The green banded female and the white banded male have fledged. Watch and rescue members are watching both of them as they take successive flights attempting to eventually return to the nest ledge. The yellow banded female has been held for further observation to ensure that she is 100 percent recovered before placing her on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building to take flight again. Taking off from the roof, above the nest ledge, provides a better chance for the fledglings to safely return to the nest ledge.
6/9/2009  ::   Update on Yellow Band
The yellow banded female is reportedly in good physical condition. After a final examination by a vet, she could be released this evening or tomorrow.
6/9/2009  ::   First Fledge!
The yellow banded female fledged at 6:45 this morning. She was rescued from a nearby street and sent to a wildlife rescue/rehabilitation center. Preliminary information indicated she may have an injured leg. We'll get an update and report on her condition this afternoon.
6/3/2009  ::   Update on the Eyases
The five young eyases have physically grown and developed considerably since the banding event on May 27th. Soon, they will make their first flight attempt, known as fledging. Beginning on Monday, June 8th, watch and rescue staff will track the activities of the eyases as they take to the air, one at a time until all have fledged. Although the larger eyases have had the advantage at feeding times, the smaller, more agile ones may have the advantage in flight. The little male (white band) has been running up and down the ledge all week. He's just waiting for his feathers to develop a little more before he makes his first attempt. At the other end of the spectrum, we see the largest female (green band) - she may not be as agile as the smaller birds and the watch and rescue team will watch her closely and respond if she ends up on the street or on one of the nearby parking garages. In any event, fledging is probably the most critical step in the life cycle of peregrines and success can help to ensure the long-term survival of these endangered raptors.
5/28/2009  ::   Banding Results
At the May 27th banding event, the PGC banded four female nestlings, one male. All five of the eyases were treated for mites; all are doing well. The watch and rescue program will begin on Monday, June 8th and run through the weekend or until all of the eyases have fledged and returned to the ledge.
5/6/2009  ::   Educators and Students Invited to Attend Peregrine Falcon Banding Event on May 27th




On Wednesday, May 27th, the Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Game Commission will host the annual Peregrine Falcon Banding Event at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, PA from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Teachers and their students, non-formal educators and youth organizations are invited to attend this event. Activities will include the weighing, examination and banding of the nestlings. There is no cost to attend the banding event.

To register for this event, please contact Ann Devine at 717 772-1644 or adevine@state.pa.us.

Since 1997, a pair of Peregrine Falcons have made their home on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg. The falcon pair has successfully reproduced since 2000, and this Spring, the female again laid a clutch of five eggs

5/4/2009  ::   All Five Eggs Hatched!
Over the weekend, the remaining two falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to five. The fourth egg hatched out at roughly 6:40 p.m. on Friday, May 1. The fifth egg hatched out some time overnight between Saturday night May 2 and early Sunday morning, May 3. This is the second time that all five eggs have hatched.
5/1/2009  ::   Three Have Hatched
The second egg reportedly hatched around 10 AM on Friday, May 1st. The third hatched around 1:30 PM, May 1st. The weather forecast is for cool, wet weather the entire weekend. The adults will continue to keep the chicks warm throughout this period to prevent hypothermia.
4/30/2009  ::   First Egg Hatched!
The first of the five eggs hatched mid-morning today. Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. Stay tuned throughout the weekend to see if all five eggs hatch.
4/29/2009  ::   Peregrine Chicks Should Hatch Soon!
Based on incubation periods recorded in past years we should expect the first egg to hatch on or around May first. In the past one of the five eggs has failed to produce a hatchling. It will be interesting to see what happens this year.

FalconWire Archives
2017
11/28/2017  ::   New Male Observed on Ledge
A new male peregrine has been visiting the nest ledge since last Friday. This bird is banded, band code 38/S, and appears to be larger and younger than the resident male. The new male was banded in 2010 on the McElhatten Bridge in Clinton County and visited the ledge in January.

The fourteen-year old resident male has a black over red striped leg band with "W/V" on it. He was last observed on Sunday, November 19th on the ledge. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings, photos and interactions would be of great value in determining what we can expect for the 2018 nesting season. Please email to ra-epfalcon@pa.gov .

9/8/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The rehabilitator and the veterinarian determined that the Blue-banded falcon will never fully develop, including the liver. These anomalies most likely occurred while this bird was still developing in its egg. Therefore, Blue cannot be released into the wild. At this point, the rehabilitator is in the process of locating a suitable home where the falcon can be used for educational purposes.
8/1/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The blue-banded falcon remains at the wildlife rehabilitation center. The falcon is flying well, but still undersized. "Blue" will be having additional x-rays to examine the falcon's liver development. At this point, it appears that "Blue" may become an educator's bird supporting endangered species outreach programs.
7/28/2017  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male stays in the area most of the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/22/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Today, the rehabilitator provided an update on "Blue", the young falcon that has yet to fledge. An X-ray was done and indicated that this bird's liver is underdeveloped. This may be the reason why it was so far behind in developing its flight feathers. At this point, releasing this young falcon at the Rachel Carson State Office Building is highly unlikely. Actually, there's no guarantee "Blue" will survive in captivity. Treatment with antibiotics is progressing well but only time and close monitoring will tell. "Blue" is scheduled for another X-ray in two months. If the liver issue stabilizes, then consideration will be given to "Blue's" future.
6/15/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Yesterday, the blue-banded falcon received an x-ray, and it was discovered the male has an underdeveloped liver, which may explain the slow growth and feather development. At this point, the final prognosis is unclear, the current plan is to continue observation to see if "Blue" can be returned to the wild or remain in captivity as an education bird.
6/14/2017  ::   Update on Blue-Banded Male Falcon
During a subsequent flight yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded male had a possible collision with a nearby building. The young falcon became grounded and was rescued. He currently is recovering at the Red Creek Wildlife Center.
6/13/2017  ::   Blue-Banded Male Released!
Today around 11 a.m., the blue-banded male returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the building's roof. He took off immediately flying exceptionally well. The adult falcons will bring the young male food and will teach flying and hunting skills.

Both "red" and "white" are spending more time in the air getting advanced flight and hunting lessons from the adults. The adults are teaching them to dive by doing food drops.

After fledging, the falcon juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. But, as their flying and hunting skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.

5/30/2017  ::   More Fledges!
The white-banded falcon fledged around 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 27th and is flying successfully.

Around 9:30 a.m. on May 27th, the blue-banded male fledged and collided with nearby buildings. The young male landed in the street and was subsequently rescued by the falcon watch and rescue volunteers. The volunteers transported "blue" to a nearby wildlife rehabilitator, and it is recovering from a concussion. Today's report from the rehabilitator suggests it will likely recover and may be returned to the building sometime soon.

White and red both are flying well and can be observed flying between taking short flights near the Rachel Carson State Office Building and receiving hunting lessons from the adults.

5/26/2017  ::   First Fledges!
Around 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 25th, the blue-banded male took an accidental first flight landing on the roof of a nearby building. On Friday morning, May 26th, the Environmental Education Center staff and interns recovered "Blue" and placed him on the nest ledge.

Around 11 a.m., the red-banded male took his first flight, successfully landing on the nearby Harrisburg University Building and other nearby buildings. Observers have reported that "Red" is flying well.

5/16/2017  ::   Banding Results
On May 10th, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one nestling of undetermined sex. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The first male weighed in at 585 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band the other male that weighed 595 grams; and white tape on the 585 gram nestling of undetermined sex. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
4/18/2017  ::   Three Nestlings!
Around 9:30 this morning, the second chick hatched out. Then, around 12:30 p.m., the third hatchling emerged. Because these three nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge.
4/17/2017  ::   First Hatch!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:00 p.m., the first egg hatched. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the second hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
4/4/2017  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Over the weekend, a small hole was observed one of the four eggs. The adult falcons are no longer incubating it, as it was pushed aside. This egg isn't viable, and it won't hatch. While disappointing, this is not unusual. If it is still intact during banding, the Pennsylvania Game Commission biologists will collect it for pesticide analysis.
3/15/2017  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 12th and the fourth egg this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure.
3/10/2017  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 12:25 p.m. today. The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on the ledge and nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/8/2017  ::   First Egg!
At around 8:16 a.m. today, March 8th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.

1/25/2017  ::   Breaking News From the Nest Ledge!
Since January 11th, a new male peregrine, band code 38/S, has been visiting the nest ledge and observed pair bonding with the resident female. This apparently larger bird was banded in 2010 on the McElhattan Bridge in Clinton County near Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The nearly 14 year-old resident male, band code W/V, was spotted back on the ledge yesterday. The male at this nest site often leaves the area for a week or two and then return when breeding activity typically resumes.

This morning, an unbanded female arrived on the ledge. Based upon observations from staff, there may have been a territorial battle between the females this morning. The resident female was later observed on the ledge, and so far, there are no reports of the unbanded female. It's possible that the challenger may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what to expect for the 2017 nesting season.

2016
10/5/2016  ::   Window Washing
Today, window washers will be cleaning the windows on the front side of the Rachel Carson Building. As an endangered species, building maintenance must be scheduled outside of the breeding season to avoid any disturbances to the nest.
7/29/2016  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The last report of the red-banded female was on June 28th, where she was observed eating on a nearby building and flying in the area. As far as we know she may be okay as no news is good news. The other fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male now stays in the area throughout the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/30/2016  ::   Red - Injured?
The red-banded female may have sustained injuries late last week. The beak and one eye may be injured. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. Any falcon cam watcher who observes red eating should email the date and time of feeding along with a photo, if possible, to ra-epfalcon@pa.gov. She has red tape over a silver leg band on her right leg and a black and green band, 83/BR, on her left leg.
6/13/2016  ::   Fledge Update
The three fledglings likely will remain in the area for another four to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, flight and hunting lessons, leading to their complete independence. While viewers can still watch some activity at the ledge, it will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor making longer and longer flights.
6/3/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Released!
Yesterday around noon, the red-banded female returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the 15th floor ledge. Today around 2 p.m., she took her first flight and seems to be doing well.

Both males are flying extremely well and learning advanced flight and hunting techniques, including the spectacular dive, called a stoop, where peregrines can reach speeds of more than 200 mph!

6/1/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Update - No Fractures!
Good news! The red-banded female, who was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center on Friday, does not have any fractures. She is flying in the flight cage among perches building strength. As long as she's fully recovered, she may be released onto the building later this week. The wildlife rehabilitator noted that red is very aggressive, an important survival characteristic for this wild peregrine's success.
5/31/2016  ::   News about Red-Banded Female and Fledging Update
On Friday, May 27th, an officer from the Harrisburg Police Department retrieved a grounded red-banded female. She was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center for examination and treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the building. We'll keep the viewers updated about her progress.

Both males are flying well and are receiving flight lessons from the adults. Soon they will start learning to hunt.

5/25/2016  ::   Fledging Update
On Monday, May 23rd, the white-banded male made the first flight around 3 p.m. He landed on the roof of the nearby train station. He was later rescued, examined and released to the roof. Yesterday, the blue-banded male fledged and safely landed on a lower roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
5/4/2016  ::   Banding Results
Yesterday, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one female. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The female weighed in at 715 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 535 gram male; white tape on another 535 gram male. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 23rd.
4/19/2016  ::   Update on the Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, the fourth egg did not hatch, and at this point, it is highly unlikely that it will. While this is discouraging, it is normal. However, the other three nestlings all seem to be feeding, growing and doing well!
4/18/2016  ::   Three Nestlings!
On Friday evening, the third nestling emerged around 7:30 p.m.

The fourth egg hasn't hatched, and at this point, it is unlikely that it will. While discouraging, this is normal. That said in past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see. The other three young falcons, called eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!

4/15/2016  ::   Eggs Hatching!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:10 p.m., the first egg hatched. Sometime overnight, the second egg hatched as well. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the third hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/29/2016  ::   Nest Box Update
The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days, so we can expect the first egg to hatch around mid-April. The male has been hunting regularly for both falcons and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/14/2016  ::   Fourth Egg!
On Saturday around 10 a.m., the fourth egg arrived!
3/10/2016  ::   Third Egg!
Early this morning before dawn, the female laid the third egg! We should start to see the female doing more incubation. Last year, the female laid four eggs, so we'll have to wait a day or two to see if she lays another egg.
3/8/2016  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg before dawn this morning! The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/7/2016  ::   First Egg!
At around 7:11 a.m. on Saturday, March 5th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the nest meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The camera angles now are set for close views into the scrape.

2/24/2016  ::   2016 Nesting Season Update
The adults have renewed their pair bond and are spending more time together at the nest ledge. Viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior and breeding activity. This courtship behavior includes vocal interactions, hunting skills, food offerings and spectacular displays of flight. The male does these acts seemingly to demonstrate his ability to be a good provider. The first egg should arrive around mid-March.

The male is entering his 13th year. He fledged from the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003. The nearly 7 year old female fledged from the PA/NJ Turnpike Bridge in Bucks County in 2009.

For more information, photos and updates, be sure to follow the falcons on Twitter and Instagram @falconchatter or on Flickr at falconchatter.

2/12/2016  ::   Live Feed of Harrisburg's Famous Peregrine Falcons Returns Just in Time for Valentine's Day
Love is in the air in Harrisburg as the city's famous pair of peregrine falcons have returned to their nest on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building just in time for Valentine's Day. To celebrate, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today launched a redesigned falcon website that features a high definition, three-camera live video feed of the nest that will now be streamed year-round. The site also provides more opportunities for people to interact through social media.

Valentine's Day is typically the time when the falcons renew their courtship behavior. The male will offer food to the female and put on a spectacular display of flight and hunting skills, all to impress her and prove his ability to be a good provider. There also is some vocal interaction at the nest.

"Providing a live feed of the peregrine falcons has helped to teach a generation of Pennsylvania school students and the public about the connection between wildlife and our environment," DEP Secretary John Quigley said. "It underscores the effects we humans have on the natural world and how we can all be better stewards."

The redesigned falcon website includes new interactive features like Instagram and Flickr where users can upload their own wildlife photos and even retweet a falcon valentine on Twitter. Visitors can learn about the falcons' history in Harrisburg, view a calendar of seasonal activity and link to other bird cams from around the state. The live video will now be streamed year-round instead of ending in June. Favorite website features like information and lesson plans for teachers and the Falcon Wire are still available.

The 13-year old male falcon has occupied the nest site at the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years. This is considered old for a wild peregrine, so at some point, a new male may challenge him for the nest site. The seven-year-old female is entering her fourth year at this nest site.

If their courtship is successful, the first of several eggs should arrive around mid-March. The first egg of 2015 arrived March 16. Since 2000, 58 of the 69 eggs produced at the nest have hatched. Thirty-four were females, and 23 males (in 2008, the sex of one of the young falcons could not be determined). The eggs typically hatch in mid-May and the young falcons take their first flights in June.

"This nest site in Harrisburg is one of the most productive ones in the state and its success is due in large part to our online community" Quigley said. "We thank our wonderful volunteers who look out for the young falcons when they're learning to fly, and our online viewers around the globe who keep tabs on their every move!"

To view the new website and video feed, visit DEP's website at www.dep.pa.gov/falcon.

2015
6/26/2015  ::   Streaming Video Time Extended
The streaming video will now end Tuesday, June 30th.
6/25/2015  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
The juveniles are spending more time in the air, getting flight and hunting lessons from the adults. This means they're spending less time at the ledge. The live stream feed will end tomorrow, June 26th. The still image capture is available year-round from the DEP Falcon Page.
6/4/2015  ::   Update from the Ledge!
This week, Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers and staff have been continuously watching the three female fledglings making flights around the city. The white-banded female has been flying successfully today after spending yesterday on a small ledge near the Capitol.

Unfortunately, late yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female died after flying into a window. There are a lot of hazards for the young falcons at urban nest sites including window strikes.

The red-banded female took her first flight early this morning and landed on a low roof on the Rachel Carson Building. She attempted to make another flight but landed on the ground near the main entrance. The DEP staff and interns rescued, examined and released her onto the roof of the building.

6/1/2015  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female fledged prematurely. She was rescued, examined and placed on the roof of the building. She's been getting regular feedings from the adults. Soon, she'll take flight intentionally and gaining strength and flying skills, will return to the nest ledge.
5/21/2015  ::   Banding Results:
All three nestlings have been determined to be females. They are all in good health. Each has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The largest of the three weighed in at 900 grams and has a white tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 855 gram female; red tape on an 850 gram female. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
5/19/2015  ::   Peregrine Falcon Banding Event!
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM on Thursday, May 21 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be a live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 130 students and teachers will be in attendance. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/27/2015  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, over the weekend, the fourth egg did not completely hatch. At this point, it is unlikely that this hatchling will emerge. While this is discouraging, it is normal. The other eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!
4/23/2015  ::   Three!
Early this morning, the third hatchling was discovered in the nest. All three have taken food from the adult female as of 9:30 AM.
4/22/2015  ::   First Hatch of the Season!
We have two hatchlings! One arrived late yesterday afternoon, April 21st; the second, sometime overnight, ushering in Earth Day 2015!
3/23/2015  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 19th and the fourth egg over the weekend on March 21st. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/17/2015  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 7 p.m. last night!
3/16/2015  ::   First Egg!
At around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape!

The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

3/12/2015  ::   When Will It Happen?
Falcon viewers are in the proverbial waiting room, in anticipation of the big event! Last year, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, the first egg was laid on March 12th. This female, being consistently reliable, should deliver the first egg of the season very soon. Stay tuned as the excitement builds!
3/3/2015  ::   Streaming Video Available
An upgraded version of video streaming is now online and accessibly to falcon viewers. The new sharper images provide an intimate view into the courtship and pre-nesting behavior of the adult peregrine falcon pair here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. Stay tuned as the first egg is expected the second week in March.
2/17/2015  ::   Streaming Video Date Set
The live stream webcasting begins March 2nd.

The adult peregrines have renewed their pair bond. They are spending more time together at the nest ledge and web viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior. The male is providing food offerings to the female, exhibiting his ability to be a strong provider. The female will increase her hunting and feeding activities in advance of nesting activities. Egg production and viability is directly related to nutrition levels in the female.

2/3/2015  ::   Outlook For 2015 Nesting Season
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. By the end of February, the male typically makes food offerings to the female and breeding activity heightens. Live stream webcasting at the ledge is tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, March 2nd.
2014
8/8/2014  ::   Update on Juveniles
The adults have returned to the ledge periodically over the past several weeks. This is an indication that they are no longer flying with the fledges and that our young juvenile peregrines have become independent. Chances are, they have already arrived in one of our great flyways, where they'll be sustained by soon to occur mass migrations. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Falcon Telemetry page from the DEP Falcon Page.
7/2/2014  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
On Friday, July 4th the streaming video will be discontinued for the 2014 season. DEP staff plan to offer streaming video for the 2015 nesting season beginning the first week in February 2015.
6/10/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The morning of Saturday, June 7th the black-banded male was discovered dead on a low roof below the nest ledge. This fledgling impacted some portion of the building, likely a window or skylight. These hazards have been a significant mortality factor over the past 15 years and are typical of urban nest sites.



The other three fledges are doing well, getting flight lessons from the adults. This includes in-flight food transfers providing them with the challenge of attaining food with reliance on their own flight skills.

6/5/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The red-banded female was rescued from a glass enclosed balcony yesterday afternoon and released from the roof of the building. All four of the fledges are now flying to and from nearby buildings. Soon, they'll get advanced flight lessons from the adults.
6/3/2014  ::   What's Next?
The fledglings will remain in the area for 4 to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, then flight and hunting lessons, leading to complete independence. Activity at the ledge will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor, the habitat type that lead breeding adults to this location over 15 years ago.
6/3/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
All four of the eyases have taken their first flight. Early this morning, the red-banded female attempted her first airborne adventure. An adventure it was too; she landed on the sidewalk in front of the building where she was promptly rescued and placed on top of the building. The 2014 Rachel Carson brood of four are now referred as fledglings. This is one of the most critical times in their young lives. The highest mortality at a nest site occurs within the first week of fledging. Watch and rescue crews have proven once again that this annual vigil is well worth the time and effort involved to safeguard this endangered raptor.
5/30/2014  ::   Fledging Update
Early this morning, the green-banded male made his first flight landing on a lower ledge of the Rachel Carson Building. After a few more short flights, the male landed on the Aberdeen Street sidewalk. He's was rescued, examined and released onto the building's roof.



The black-banded male made some short flights and now is on a ledge of the neighboring Harrisburg University Building.



The Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers are keeping a close eye on the young fledges.

5/29/2014  ::   Eyases Nearly Ready to Take Flight!
At 6:15 PM last evening, May 28th the black-banded male eyas fledged prematurely, catching a gust of wind while wing-flapping at the edge of the nest ledge. He was rescued by afterhours watch and rescue volunteers and taken to the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. This eyas and his siblings are not quite ready to fledge on their own yet but will be within several days. At this point in their young lives, they are most vulnerable and watch and rescue activities can play a key role in their survival.
5/15/2014  ::   Banding Results
Based on Game Commission banding results, we have two female and two male eyases in this years' brood. All four were examined and appear to be in good health.



Why do we band peregrine falcons?



Biologists place an alphanumeric metal band around the left leg each of the eyases with a falcon-specific code. The band code will be used by wildlife officials to monitor the birds once they leave the nest. In addition, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife band is placed on the eyases' right leg registering each on a federal banding database.



Band code reporting can inform wildlife managers as to how far peregrines migrate, where they establish breeding territory, over-wintering behavior, how long they live and causes of mortality.



Here are some outcomes revealed by banding efforts at the RCSOB:



The original breeding adult female appeared at the Rachel Carson State Office Building (RCSOB) in 1999. She was identified by her band code. By viewing the number on the band on her leg (4/4), officials were able to trace her origin to a nest on the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia. She was banded in 1998. She was the first falcon produced on a bridge in Pennsylvania to be rediscovered at a nest site.



The original male was not banded so his origin and age were unknown. This male was injured in 2003 and wildlife managers deemed him unable to survive in the wild so reuniting him with 4/4 was not an option. After five weeks the female seemed resigned to the fact that he would not return. She bonded with another male. This male was banded on the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003.



Several of Rachel Carson's young falcons have reportedly been nesting in Ohio, Delaware and other locations in Pennsylvania. While their numbers are increasing, the Pennsylvania Game Commission still lists the peregrine falcons as an endangered species in the Commonwealth.

4/28/2014  ::   Young Peregrines Demand More Food
The adults are both actively hunting. The eyases are growing so rapidly that both of the adults must provide as much food as possible. They visit the nest site often to check on the eyases but only briefly and usually off-camera. All is well with the falcon family.
4/22/2014  ::   Fourth Egg Hatches!
Sometime overnight or early this morning, the last of the falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to four!
4/21/2014  ::   Three Nestings!
Yesterday, 4/20, three of the four eggs hatched!

For the last egg, look for white spots on it, which is an indication that the last hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.

4/17/2014  ::   First Hatch Soon
Based on the timing from the nesting season last year, we should expect the first hatch within a day or two. The female will move off the eggs occasionally for the male to take some incubation duties and to rotate the eggs. As this activity is happening we may see signs of pipping, or breaking out of the shell by a hatchling.
4/8/2014  ::   Update From the Nest Box
We can expect the first egg to hatch around the 20th of April. This female has been consistent within her reproductive cycle. The male has been hunting regularly and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/19/2014  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the fourth egg around 9:30 a.m. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/18/2014  ::   Three Eggs!
The female laid the second egg on Saturday, March 15th and the third on Monday, March 17th!
3/13/2014  ::   First Egg!
At around 5 p.m. yesterday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
3/10/2014  ::   First Egg Expected Soon!
We can expect the first egg to be laid sometime this week. The best estimate, based on last year's timeline, would be Wednesday or Thursday. The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She rotates her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/11/2014  ::   Live Streaming Begins Friday
This Friday, February 14th, three HD cameras will begin to chronicle activities at the nest ledge. The breeding pair at the Rachel Carson State Office Building fittingly renew their pair-bond around Valentine's Day annually.
2013
10/3/2013  ::   Still Image View
Due to system maintenence, there will be only one view at the ledge for the time being.
7/22/2013  ::   Video Streaming Ends/What's Next for the Juveniles?
The live stream video has ended for the 2013 season. The still image capture will be available year-round.



The juveniles have become confident in their flying and hunting abilities and will soon leave the area.

In the past, Rachel's young falcons have traveled hundreds of miles in all directions. They'll likely spend the fall near a migration corridor, often along the Eastern Seaboard, where the food supply is abundant. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Peregrine Falcon page and click on the Satellite Telemetry button. These pages chronicle the movements of two juveniles affixed with satellite transmitters before dispersing from the Rachel Carson nest in 2002.

6/28/2013  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
All four of the Peregrine Falcon juveniles are flying confidently and honing their hunting skills. They have been spending less time at the ledge so as to become more independent. At times they return for rest, at nightfall, for protection from the elements, or if they are hungry and have had an unsuccessful hunt. After fledging, juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. The adult falcons participate in their young's practice of flying and hunting, bringing them food if they have not been able to hunt their own, and even doing food drops to teach them how to dive. After these skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.
6/10/2013  ::   Fledge/Rescue Summary
The young male (yellow band) was the first to fledge, the morning of May 31st. The morning of June 1st, the largest of the brood (red band) fledged. It was a busy season for the watch and rescue crews as six rescues were undertaken. All four fledges are flying strong at this point. The adults have been observed with the juveniles delivering food in flight and giving advanced flying lessons.
6/5/2013  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledges were at the ledge this morning. They have since been seen at various perches around the city. Milk crates were placed inside the 16th floor balcony in case they land inside again and get trapped, they can hop out to the railing.
6/3/2013  ::   Blue Banded Female Released
The blue-banded female was returned onto the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building after being released from the wildlife rehabilitator around 11 a.m. The female has taken a few short flights to the nearby buildings and is doing okay. She was rescued by the Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteer crew on Saturday, June 1st.
6/3/2013  ::   All falcons fledged
On the morning of Friday, May 31st, the yellow-banded male was the first fledge. After a few short flights, he landed inside a balcony on the 16th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. He was later rescued and released onto the roof.

Over the weekend, the blue-banded female was rescued and taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center because of exhaustion and dehydration. She has recovered and will be released onto the building later today.

The other falcons--white-band and red-band are making short flights around the building. DEP Environmental Education staff, interns and volunteers are coordinating the Falcon Watch and Rescue Program.

5/23/2013  ::   Banding Results
There are three females, one male. One of the females weighed in at 990 grams, the biggest we've ever banded at the Rachel Carson nest. They all had a physical exam and none showed any signs of disease, parasite infestation or injury.
5/13/2013  ::   Banding Event
The annual Peregrine Falcon banding event will be held Tuesday, May 21 at 1:00 PM in the Rachel Carson State Office Building Auditorium in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will be produced and live webcast by Commonwealth Media Services from the DEP Falcon Page. DEP is inviting teachers, with their students and non-formal educators to attend, through a pre-registration process. Biologists will weigh, examine and band the soon to be nearly four week old eyases.
5/1/2013  ::   Busy Birds
As the nestlings grow, their demand for food increases, keeping the male very busy. Soon, the nestlings will be feathered and developed enough that the female will hunt more regularly, typically bring back larger birds. It's all about biomass now and keeping up with the needs of the nestlings.
4/29/2013  ::   Full Brood of Four
Early on the morning of Tuesday, April 23rd the fourth chick hatched out. Because these four nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge. The next big event for the peregrines is the banding event, scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st at 1 PM.
4/22/2013  ::   Eggs Hatch!
Sometime between 2 and 3 PM on Saturday, April 20th, the first egg hatched. Early Sunday morning the second hatchling arrived. By Monday morning, April 22nd, three nestlings were being cared for by the adults. If viable, the fourth egg should hatch soon. This close hatch time among the nestlings is good news because they should compete for food without one or another being disadvantaged by being smaller and weaker than their nest-mates.
4/10/2013  ::   Incubation
Based on past reproductive timelines, we can expect the first egg to hatch around April 21st. The male seems to be very successful in hunting and providing for the female as she does most of the incubation. The male will do around one third of the incubation, allowing the female to hunt on her own, typically taking larger birds.
3/20/2013  ::   Egg Number Four
The fourth egg was observed in the nest around 8 AM this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch... within several days we'll know for certain. The female will do most of the incubation, as the male increases his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The female will hunt occasionally throughout the incubation period.
3/18/2013  ::   Three Eggs!
Sometime last night, the third egg arrived.

The adults now will incubate more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/15/2013  ::   2 eggs!
The female just laid second egg at about 2:37 p.m. today.
3/13/2013  ::   First Egg!
Late last night or early this morning, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid five days later than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/14/2013  ::   Live Streaming Video Begins!
The live stream video begins today! New HD cameras have been installed, providing a more crisp view of the fascinating behavior of Rachel's Peregrines. Activities at the ledge have been lighter this year. The peregrines have been spending more time away from the ledge. This may be because a ranging male has been persistent in his challenge to the resident male. There have been many intense battles at the ledge in recent weeks. Once this rivalry has been resolved, activity at the ledge should increase.
1/31/2013  ::   Still Image Issues
The still image capture is being handled by a new software program. Media staff are working to resolve problems that result in the image failing to refresh regularly.
2012
12/17/2012  ::   New Cameras Installed and Running
The new HD digital cameras have been installed. The still image capture is currently getting feed from one of three cameras. Later, networking hardware will be installed to bring the other two cameras into a viewing sequence, covering most of the ledge area. By the first week in February, the system should be ready for HD live stream broadcast.
11/28/2012  ::   Camera Upgrades
The cameras at the ledge will be replaced with new, state-of-the-art cameras to improve the image we provide for the 2013 nesting season. By Monday, December 3rd, the still image should be back on line.
8/8/2012  ::   Update from the Ledge
The live stream video has ended for the season. The still image capture is available year-round. The adult pair has been spending time together at the ledge and throughout the city. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good.
7/17/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Both of the adults have been at the ledge. This is a firm indication that the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The new female has been laying and rotating in the scrape. This behavior seems to be practice for the next nesting season which will get underway early in February of 2013.
6/22/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledglings have been sighted at various locations away from the nest ledge and occasionally visit the ledge briefly. They seem to have no interest in returning to the ledge. It is likely that the adult male is still flying with them and giving them advance hunting lessons. By the end of June, they should set out on their first long journey.
6/13/2012  ::   News from the Nest Ledge!
The new adult female falcon has been in the scrape with the male apparently pair-bonding.

She is a large falcon from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA, and was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

6/7/2012  ::   Female Falcon Update
This afternoon, an adult female peregrine was observed on the ledge. The female is banded. Based upon her alphanumeric band codes, she is from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA. She was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

Both fledges are doing well, and improving their hunting skills.

6/4/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
Both of the fledglings have been observed in flight, at times with the adult male, getting advance lessons. They are being fed at the ledge occasionally. They have reached to the point now where they are capable of receiving in-flight food exchanges. They're developing their skills rapidly.

There have been no reported sightings of any other adult peregrine appearing at or near the ledge.

5/29/2012  ::   Significant Happenings!
There is much to report on activities at the nest ledge over the holiday weekend. On Saturday, May 26th at 6:48 AM, the blue-banded eyas became a fledgling. His first attempt at flight resulted in a rescue from a low roof where a skylight prevented him from taking another attempt at flight. He was placed on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building and has been flying well since. At 7:25 AM on Memorial Day, the red-banded eyas flew and returned to the ledge. Today, the red-banded fledgling was rescued from the street after a precarious flight from a nearby treetop. The fledgling was returned to the nest ledge.

Thursday and Friday of last week the adult male seemed to be exhibiting attraction behavior, that is, he was sending notice to any passing female that he's available. Friday at 6:25 PM, a female arrived at the nest ledge and flew away. She has been spotted sporadically since the original sighting. Whether or not she is banded remains to be determined.

5/25/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday, just after 6AM, the red-banded eyas was swept off the ledge by a gust of wind as he flapped his wings. He was rescued from a nearby ally and returned to the ledge. At this age the eyases aren't quite ready to fly but they have the ability to make clumsy, relatively light landings. Volunteers are watching the young birds all day long from this point until they fledge and successfully return to the ledge. The adult male is doing a great job providing for the eyases on his own as there is still no sign of the adult female.

The eyases are very mobile on the ledge now and are sometimes completely out of camera view. They're spending time on a small ledge opposite the radius column behind the scrape.

5/22/2012  ::   Update on Rachel's Falcons
Despite daily search efforts, the adult female has not been located. The male has been providing food for the eyases. He is also a very good teacher. After the eyases make their first attempt at flight, he'll provide the fledges with flight and hunting lessons. We'll be observing the progress of the fledges and rescue them if they make any bad landings.
5/17/2012  ::   Falcon Sightings
The adult resident female has sustained an injury or disease that has rendered her unable to effectively hunt, feed herself and the eyases. The male has redoubled his hunting activities and is providing for the eyases. DEP staff has been trying to locate the female in hopes of live capturing her for treatment at a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center. Any information on her whereabouts would be appreciated. The female is one third larger than the male and is not banded. The male is banded. Falcon watchers can report information via the falcon page email account or call DEP's Environmental Education Center at 717 772-1828.
5/11/2012  ::   Banding Results
This year we have two male eyases- one weighs 560g, the other 590g. They're both in good health. The banding event seems to awaken the eyases to the fact that they can get out of the scrape and explore the nest ledge. This is critical to their physical development. They will begin building the strength and agility that will be necessary for them to attempt their first flight, which should happen in a few short weeks.
5/8/2012  ::   Banding Event
The banding event will be live webcast at 1 PM, tomorrow May 9th. Over 150 students, teachers and youth groups will be in attendance. Many of the teachers who will arrive with their students also attended a falcon teacher workshop here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building on April 3rd. This year we'll have two nestlings. They'll be weighed, examined and the sex will be determined before leg bands are attached. These bands will provide for an individual signature that identifies the birds when they fledge, disperse and seek out their own nesting territories.
4/30/2012  ::   Egg Update
There will be two nestlings banded at the May 9th banding event. Last year, one chick hatched for a total of three young produced at the nest over two years. This female was very young last year, and typically young peregrine females will lay eggs that are not viable. Even with adult females, one of four eggs not viable is not unusual. So there is reason for optimism in the sense that this pair has doubled the number of nestlings this year and as she matures, this female should produce eggs with a greater hatch success rate. The unhatched eggs in the nest will be added to the eggs from last year's nesting season and submitted for testing.
4/17/2012  ::   Two Hatchlings!
Yesterday afternoon, two of the chicks began to pip out of their egg shells. By early this morning, two hatchlings appeared from under the brooding female. They have been fed and appear to be active and healthy. From this point on, the adults will no longer be bored, incubating 24-7. Instead, they will be actively hunting most of the day to provide for the rapidly growing eyases.
4/16/2012  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon!
Based on past incubation periods, we can expect the first egg to hatch soon. The female is exhibiting behavior that would suggest this as well. Some of the eggs have white spots on them, also an indication that the first hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/15/2012  ::   Fourth Egg!
Around 7 AM this morning, the female falcon laid her fourth egg. We'll have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/13/2012  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg was laid at around 5 PM yesterday, March 12th. The female appears to be on her normal reproductive cycle.
3/12/2012  ::   Second Egg Arrives!
The second egg was laid at 6:26 AM, Saturday, March 10th. Thanks to all who emailed, reporting the time the egg was first observed.

The adults will incubate these two eggs only occasionally- when the third egg is laid, more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first two hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/8/2012  ::   First Egg of the Season!
The female exhibited egg laying behavior, late in the afternoon yesterday. This morning, we have the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid three days earlier than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/27/2012  ::   Nesting Season Well Underway
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. The male has been observed bringing food offerings to the female and breeding activity appears to be normal. There have been reports of conflicts in the sky, possibly the unbanded male returning to challenge the resident male. At this point, it is likely that the resident male and female will drive off any interlopers. Their bond is strong and their territory is mutually valued and defended.
1/24/2012  ::   Improved Camera Coverage
A third camera has put into the scan sequence to better cover activity at the nest ledge. As far as we know at this point there are still two males competing for breeding male dominance. Any activity observed from this point on is critical in determining how this nesting season will play out. The adult female is not banded. The new male is not banded. The resident male is banded and is somewhat smaller than the new male. DEP staff are observing the birds, as time allows, in order to identify subtle differences in plumage and markings among the three peregrine falcons.
1/19/2012  ::   Breaking News on the Resident Male!
The resident male, band code W/V, has reclaimed his territory! He was spotted at the ledge this afternoon in the company of the adult female. No sightings today of the unbanded male. It remains to be determined whether or not there was a territorial battle between the males or if this just sets the stage for a battle. Males at this nest site have had the habit of leaving the area for a week or two and then returning. Breeding activity typically takes place at this time of year so if the battle has not happened, it will likely happen soon. Any information that falcon watchers can provide about the behavior of these birds is of great value to DEP education staff monitoring the site. Information can be reported to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link below the web image window on the DEP falcon page.
2011
12/28/2011  ::   News From the Nest Ledge
A new male peregrine has been visiting the nest ledge since the first week in November. This bird is not banded and appears to be somewhat larger and younger than the resident male. The resident male peregrine was last seen in conflict with the new male on November 30th. The new male has since made food offerings to the female and they appear to be pair-bonding. It is likely that the new male was successful in his challenge for the nest site and resident female. The resident male may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what we can expect for the 2012 nesting season.
7/14/2011  ::   Fledgling and Video Streaming Update
The fledgling is reportedly still visiting the ledge regularly. We can assume that he is also getting advanced hunting lessons and is hunting on his own as well. Soon, he should become completely independent and begin his first year journey to places unknown.

The live stream video is scheduled to end tomorrow, July 15th 2011.

7/6/2011  ::   Update
The fledgling has been observed returning to the ledge most evenings. He should soon become completely independent. The adults are seldom seen at the ledge because they're probably still giving the fledgling hunting lessons. The new adult female may remain here throughout the remainder of summer, and possibly the fall and winter, as the original female did. Or, she may spend the winter elsewhere. This is all conjecture at this point because territorial behavior varies among individual breeding peregrines.
6/6/2011  ::   Fledge/Watch and Rescue Summary
The 2011 Falcon Watch and Rescue Program for the one fledgling Peregrine Falcon nesting on the 15th Floor of Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was extremely exciting and successful. The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) official volunteer Falcon Watch and Rescue Program was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 31st, with more than 15 individuals volunteering to observe the fledglings who worked in two-hour shifts from approximately 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.



However, our one-and-only fledgling decided to take his first flight a little earlier than expected, fledging around 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 27th. DEP called off the Falcon Watch and Rescue that was scheduled for May 31st - June 3rd, but the weekend and afterhours volunteer coordinators arranged volunteers to watch throughout the Memorial Holiday Weekend.



This year no falcon rescues took place! Throughout the week, the adult falcons encouraged the fledgling to take flight by enticing him with food while performing "fly-bys". In order to prepare for flight, the juvenile falcon would strengthen his wings by flapping and running from one end of the ledge to the other. He also had some practice take-offs by running, jumping and flapping his wings at the same time.





On Friday, May 27th, the silver-banded male fledged at approximately 9:00 a.m. and landed on top of the Strawberry Square Building. He relaxed there for about 10 minutes then attempted his next flight towards the 333 Market Street. He wasn't strong enough, however, to gain the height to the top, so the adult female guided him to the top of the Rachel Carson Building. Within an hour of this first take off from the ledge, he was back on the ledge again to rest.



After his first flight, he continued to hone his flying skills by making short flights to buildings surrounding the Rachel Carson Building. Some of the most frequently visited locations included the Pennsylvania Department of Education building located at 333 Market Street, Strawberry Square, and the Forum Place Building.



By Wednesday, June 1st, DEP concluded its 2011 Flacon Watch and Rescue Program. At that time, it was determined that the fledgling had improved his flying skills enough to maneuver safely and return to the 15th floor ledge.

5/31/2011  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledgling has been seen flying with both of the adults, seemingly getting flying lessons. He's getting stronger each day. Soon, he should get hunting lessons. This involves the adults transferring food in-flight and then assisting the fledgling in pursuit of prey. He seems to be on a fast track to independence. We expect him to gain full independence within five weeks. Then, he will likely leave the area traveling to unknown destinations. To learn more about this behavior, click on the Falcon Telemetry link on the DEP Falcon Page to view telemetry points and dates posted from the 2002 study.
5/27/2011  ::   The Fledge!
The little male ran the length of the ledge and took flight at 9:15 AM. He landed on nearby building. Within 15 minutes he was on top of the Rachel Carson State Office Building, his home building. Soon after, he returned to the nest ledge where he was rewarded with a meal. This fledgling now holds the record for earliest fledge and quickest return to the ledge. Watch and rescue crews will continue to track his whereabouts and ensure that if he gets into trouble they can respond and keep him out of harm's way.
5/26/2011  ::   Nestling Update
The eyas has been really active at the nest ledge. He's exhibiting behavior that suggests he may fledge prematurely. Watch and rescue crews are watching him closely in case he does fly and would have to be rescued from the street. The camera views, although not very appealing, provide the best view of the edges of the ledge where the eyas would take flight from. Our first priority is to have this view on streaming video so we can react if and when he does fledge.
5/19/2011  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, there is only one nestling at the ledge. Based on weight(660 grams)and the diameter of the legs the nestling was determined to be a male. The banding team placed an alphanumeric band on the nestling with characters large enough to read with binoculars and another US Fish and Wildlife band with a code that can be read with the bird in hand. The nestling was in good health. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight this young bird will take. He should fledge in about two weeks.
5/16/2011  ::   Banding Event Tomorrow
The banding event for 2011 will take place tomorrow, May 17th at 1 PM. The nestling appears to be in good health though it will get a thorough physical examination at the event. More than 170 students, teachers and volunteers will view the event live at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will also be live webcast through streaming video. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/26/2011  ::   Hatch Update
The remaining eggs in the scrape have had little incubation so it's likely we'll have only one nestling this season. We think this new female is very young and as such it's not unusual for her to lay infertile eggs. This may actually be good in the sense that she'll have less pressure in giving flight and hunting lessons to this nestling when it fledges than if the full clutch had hatched. Looking back to the 2000 season, mortality of the fledglings was high (75%) perhaps due to the inexperience of 4/4, the original Rachel Carson female in training the fledges to attain the skills necessary to reach independence.
4/20/2011  ::   First Hatch!
At 5:30 PM last evening, viewers noticed that one of the four eggs showed signs of "pipping out". By this morning, the first hatchling of the season had arrived. This nestling will get regular feedings as will the others when they hatch out.
4/13/2011  ::   First Hatch Expected Soon
The first hatch of the season is expected to happen the week of April 18th. The new female's reproductive clock appears to be around 9 days earlier than the original female. This will result in the earlier scheduling of key activities as well. The banding event will take place on Tuesday, May 17th and the watch and rescue activities will begin on Tuesday, May 31st.
3/30/2011  ::   Harrisburg Offspring Discovered at Nest!
The green-banded female from the 2009 nesting season has claimed her own nesting territory. This female was the largest of four females and one male banded on May 27th 2009. Her band codes were confirmed by falcon watchers on March 6th. She displaced an established female at a bridge scrape near Rocky River Metro Parks in Brookpark, Ohio, a few miles south of Cleveland. The site is close to Cleveland Hopkins Airport and the entranceway to NASA. No reports yet of eggs in the nest but there have been many sightings of breeding activity. The Harrisburg watch and rescue crews should be commended here because if not for their efforts in rescuing this female from the street several days after fledging, she may not have survived.
3/18/2011  ::   Egg Number Four!
Early this morning, the fourth egg arrived. This may be the full clutch, but we have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/16/2011  ::   Third Egg!
Now that there are three eggs in the nest, incubation time will increase. We can also now begin to estimate the date of the first hatch. With an average incubation time if 34 days, we can expect the first hatch to take place the third week in April.
3/14/2011  ::   Second Egg!
The second egg was delivered early Sunday morning, March 13th. Typically, a full clutch would have three to five eggs. The previous female would consistently lay five eggs to complete the clutch. Both of the adults will spend long hours hunting so the female can meet her nutritional needs during egg development. Soon, the hunting duties will shift primarily to the male, as the female spends more time incubating the eggs.
3/11/2011  ::   First Egg!
This morning at 9:30 an egg was observed in the scrape. The new female was eight days earlier, on average than her predecessor, 4/4 in delivering the first egg of the season. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins. From all indications, this female is very young. As such, it will be difficult to say with any certainty that this year will be as productive as past nesting seasons but it will certainly be interesting to watch and find out.
2/17/2011  ::   Video Streaming Begins
The live stream video web hosting has begun for the 2011 season. What's new for this nesting season? Most significantly, there is a new female in the nest. She arrived the first week in September of last year. The second week in September, an employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challengers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out their own nesting territory. For more on the life and legacy of the original female, click on the Falcon Stories link on the DEP Falcon Page.



The new female is not banded so her age and geographic origin cannot be determined. However, when she arrived, she sported a bit of rusty brown coloring, an indication that she was emerging from juvenile plumage. In terms of predicting the date the first egg will arrive, all bets are off. In order to provide the best chance to view the laying of the first egg, the camera will be fixed on the nest box from now until the nestlings begin moving out of the box.

2/7/2011  ::   Rachel's Falcons Begin 2011 Nesting Season
Falcon watchers have reportedly seen breeding activities at the nest ledge. DEP Environmental Education staff are preparing for another season of outreach and education on endangered species reintroduction with Rachel's falcons as the focal point. We're currently seeking approval to contract for the live streaming video (more on this later) and the annual teacher workshop is set for April 12th, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
2010
9/14/2010  ::   There's a New Female in Town!
For the past two weeks there has been a lot of activity at and near the nest ledge. Recently, a new adult female falcon has been seen bonding with the male. The origin of this female is unknown as she is not banded. Email information from web viewers indicates that the resident female is no longer at the ledge. An employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challenging interlopers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out nesting territory. Any information that web viewers care to share would be appreciated. For now, we have set two close camera views at the nest box and perch for observation purposes.
7/21/2010  ::   Blue Band Loses Battle with Trichomoniasis
Due to the trichomoniasis infection, blue lost weight and became more susceptible to secondary infections. He had intestinal parasites, which cleared up with medication, and other secondary infections. He lost weight, and never returned to his weight at the age of banding. His feather development was retarded, and he was not preening himself properly. All of these are the consequences of the initial trich infection. It is indeed a nasty disease. As a result of these conditions, euthanizing became the necessary course of action.
7/13/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
Previously, we reported that the fledges may have dispersed from the area. Viewer emails have indicated that they are still around. Here is information provided by an avid viewer:

"All the birds pretty much are off the ledge & hunkered down somewhere staying cool during the heat of the day, but early every morning the adults can be seen on the ledge, & in the evening, not only can you see the adults, but the kids as well. I've seen the parents on the ledge every day & at least one juvenile every day".

7/9/2010  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 16th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/9/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Will Be Down
The Falcon Cam will be down on Tuesday, July 13th in the morning. Viewers should be able to watch the live Falcon Cam in the afternoon.
7/1/2010  ::   Updates
For the Latest Updates Click on the Falcon Wire News Button
6/30/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
One of the fledges spent several hours resting on the ledge today. With a close camera angle we were able to get a good look at him and he looked fine. The adult male was perched above him on one of the camera housings. Now, they are out together, engaged in flight/hunting lessons. Earlier today, the adult female was spotted doing the same with the other fledge. Blue's condition continues to improve although not at the pace we would like to see. All in all Rachel's falcons are doing fine.
6/24/2010  ::   Update on Blue
The infections/parasites are gone. He's improving daily.

He will not be released here at the Rachel Carson Building-he's not ready. Feather development is still slow and weight is still down. He's not preening, so his flight feathers are slow to come in. Eventually, we would like to release him, but there is no guarantee he'll fully recover. If he does, the release may occur this Fall or Spring of 2011. He will get flying and hunting lessons while in rehabilitation.

6/16/2010  ::   Blue
Blue has gained a little more weight; he now weighs 540 grams. However, he is also being treated for parasites and a secondary protozoan infection. Because of these conditions it is best to keep him in wildlife rehabilitation. The more time that passes, the less likely it is he'll be released to the ledge. If later, he does recover fully, he may be released at another nest site where nestlings are fledging later. If he does not develop 100% strength and vitality he may remain in captivity for educational purposes.
6/11/2010  ::   Fledgling Activity
From yesterday's after hours watch and rescue reports, white took two flights last evening. Today he is perched high on a nearby building. Red has visited the ledge often and continues to investigate rooftops throughout the city. These two fledges should begin their flight/hunting lessons soon.
6/10/2010  ::   The Latest on Blue
Blue will not be released to the ledge this week. Yesterday, his weight was 510 grams. The wildlife rehabilitator would like to get his weight up to 600 grams before considering the release. In addition, his feather development is delayed. We'll keep viewers updated on his progress.
6/9/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
White has remained on the ledge since he was rescued from a boxed in low rooftop yesterday morning. The adults are withholding food from him at this point so that he'll take flight again. Then, many of the food transfers will take place in flight. Red is on top of a nearby building. He's been taking some good strong flights the past two days. Blue should return from wildlife rehab tomorrow or Friday to be released on the nest ledge.
6/8/2010  ::   The Latest News
Red had a good flight from the roof and is on the nest ledge now. The rehabilitator would like blue's feathering to develop a little more before release. We're planning to return blue to the ledge Thursday or Friday of this week.
6/7/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
The two males fledged yesterday from the ledge. From all accounts, the white banded male fledged first at around 9:30 AM. He ended up near the street were he was rescued and placed on the roof of the building. Just after 1 PM white flew from the building and landed on the sidewalk, where again he was rescued. The red banded fledge took his first flight later in the morning. He remained on a low, boxed in rooftop until today at 3:30 PM when he was rescued and placed on the roof. The goal for the fledglings now will be to return to the ledge. There are two teams of watchers keeping an eye on them.



The blue banded male taken for treatment has recovered to the extent the rehabilitator would like to return him to the ledge soon. Thanks to the weekend watch and rescue crew for rescuing white after first flight attempt and briefing DEP staff on these happenings this morning.

6/1/2010  ::   Blue-Banded Male Update
This afternoon, officials from the Game Commission successfully retrieved the blue-banded male falcon that was taken by a wildlife rehabilitator for treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the ledge. The other two eyasses were treated as a precaution and returned to the ledge.
6/1/2010  ::   Update about Blue-Banded Male
At the time of banding, signs of the trichomoniasis (trich) infection were observed in the blue-banded male. The eyas was treated with the recommended dose of antibiotic by the Game Commission's Art McMorris. Trichomoniasis is a fairly widespread infection in young raptors. After careful observation, and in response to public notification that he is not responding well, the Game Commission has decided to retrieve the eyas so that it can be re-examined and, if necessary, treated more extensively off-site by a veterinarian until he is ready to be returned to the nest. The other two eyasses, which did not show signs of trich, will be re-examined as well. Infections, parasites and other maladies are a "fact of life" in wild animals, and we are fortunate that we can give this peregrine the benefit of medical attention.
5/27/2010  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, all of the nestlings are males. The banding team placed colored tape on the nestlings for the purpose of keeping track of them when they fledge. The largest of them, at 690 grams, is sporting white tape; the smallest, at 550 grams, blue and the middle sized nestling, at 590 grams, has red tape. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight these young birds will make. They should begin fledging in about two weeks.
5/26/2010  ::   Banding Event
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM tomorrow, May 27 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 180 students and teachers will be in attendance. Visit the DEP Website at www.depweb.state.pa.us to view the banding event.
5/11/2010  ::   Brood Complete
This year, there is a full brood of three nestlings. Last year and in 2006 there were five. In eight of the nine previous years the brood numbered four. In 2005, there was a full brood of three nestlings. The adult female at this nest site is now 12 years old. It is not unusual for a breeding bird of this age to lay one or two infertile eggs. The birds cannot be disturbed at this critical time so the remaining infertile egg will be retrieved after the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The real work now begins for the adult pair. They will have to hunt continuously to keep up with their rapidly growing brood.
5/7/2010  ::   Status of Eggs
One of the two remaining eggs was broken sometime overnight. There is one unhatched egg remaining. Since there was yolk in the broken egg, it most likely was infertile, or at least, any embryo had little development. If the other egg is not viable, it will begin to decay, and will be vulnerable to breaking under the process of decomposition.
5/6/2010  ::   Status of Unhatched Eggs?
To date, the two remaining eggs have not yet hatched. In past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see what happens. By this weekend, hopefully we'll see the hatches.
5/3/2010  ::   Three Eggs Hatched!
The second egg reportedly hatched around noon on Saturday, May 1st. The third egg hatched early this morning, May 3rd, sometime before dawn. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the fourth egg hatches.
4/29/2010  ::   First Egg Hatched!
Around 2:45 p.m. today, the first Peregrine Falcon nestling, called an eyas, hatched out of its egg. The young falcon used an egg tooth on its beak to break through the shell. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the next egg hatches.
4/27/2010  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon
We expect the first egg to hatch the end of this week or into the weekend. The hatchlings will take food shortly after emerging from the egg. When all of the eggs have hatched, the adults will have to hunt and provide food for the nestlings for the following eight weeks as they grow and develop. Even after fledging in June, the young birds will be dependent on the adults to deliver food in-flight until the fledges attain independence.
4/13/2010  ::   Email Notification
If you are signed up on our educator database and have requested email notification about big events and happenings related to the falcons, this message is for you- The next big happening will be the hatching of the first egg, around the end of April to the first day or two in May. Viewers who want to catch this kind of action should visit the Falcon Page often and may also follow the falcons on Twitter- click on the Twitter link on the Falcon Page. To help anticipate when these big things will happen, click on the Falcon Wire News link and read the updates from the 2009 nesting season.
4/8/2010  ::   Juvenile Female Claims New Territory
The red-band coded female that fledged from the Rachel Carson State Office Building two years ago has been spotted at a nest site in Wilmington, Delaware; she may be responsible for killing the resident female and taking over the scrape.

This female was banded on May 22nd 2008 and weighed 795 g, the largest of the four nestlings banded that day. The Rachel Carson female and her mother, the nesting female at the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia from 1998 until 2005 are know to biologist as intensely aggressive and territorial. These traits have clearly been passed on to their progeny.

To see the young female at her new scrape, visit http://www.dosbirds.org/wilmfalcons

3/30/2010  ::   Egg Number Five!
Shortly after noon today, March 30th, the fifth egg arrived. This is probably the full clutch. From this point until the eggs hatch around the end of April, the male will be the primary hunter, providing food for the female. He will also incubate the eggs about 30% of the incubation period. After hatching, up until the eyases fledge in the middle of June, both of the adults will rely on their hunting skills to provide for a rapidly growing family. The abundance of migrating and resident birds in the area will be key to the success of the falcon nesting season here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
3/29/2010  ::   Egg Number Four!
Sometime after nightfall on Saturday, March 27th and 11:20 AM on the 28th the fourth egg arrived. This could be the full clutch or as in the past three years, the full clutch may end up numbering five.
3/25/2010  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg arrived sometime in the early morning of March 25th. One or two more will probably complete the clutch.
3/23/2010  ::   Second Egg!
Early this morning, March 23rd, the female Peregrine Falcon laid the second egg. As the clutch grows, the adults will begin brooding for longer periods of time. This progressive brooding behavior allows the eggs to hatch at close intervals. The male and female will share brooding duties; the male will sit 30 to 40 percent of the entire time it takes to hatch the full clutch.
3/22/2010  ::   First Egg!
The first egg was laid at approximately 8:15 AM on Saturday, March 20th. We can expect the next to arrive very soon. This egg will get very little incubation as the even growth and development of the eyases is a very important factor in nest production; more to follow on this later.
3/18/2010  ::   First Egg Expected Soon
Rachel's female falcon should lay the first egg of the season within the next few days. She is expected to lay 4 to 5 eggs. The first two eggs will get little incubation time. After the third egg, incubation time is increased. When the clutch is full, incubation is constant. The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female does most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The camera angles will now be set for close views into the scrape.
3/11/2010  ::   Camera Angles
Soon the cameras will be set to view inside the nest box. For now the most interesting activities are seen at the current camera compositions. The southeast corner of the ledge and the perching post are habitual hangouts for these birds. Breeding activity often takes place on the southeast corner as well.
3/9/2010  ::   Eggs Before Easter
The first egg of the season should arrive within two weeks time. Last year the first egg arrived on the 21st of March. The adult female has been within two to three days on this egg-laying schedule for the past ten years. For the past four years the female has laid a full clutch of five eggs. Egg production is directly related to nutrition, the availability of food and the ability of a healthy breeding pair to attain and metabolize it. The happy irony is that this is an ongoing tribute to Rachel Carson and her work- most notably the 1962 book Silent Spring. Peregrine falcons have made their home on the fifteenth floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years.
2/4/2010  ::   Male Peregrine Returns!
At 1:25 PM today, February 4, 2010 the Rachel Carson male peregrine was spotted on the southeast corner of the ledge. This ends his long absence from the ledge and renews expectations for another successful nesting season.
1/27/2010  ::   Adult Male Sightings
Typically this pair of peregrines can be found spending much of their time together this time of year. The female has been seen frequently at the ledge, the male has not been spotted for some time. This male does tend to wander for long periods of time and possibly at great distances. If he is not with this female the first week in February we can speculate that something may have happened to him. In any case, web cam viewers are urged to email via the Contact DEP link to report peregrine sightings at the ledge. The male is one third smaller than the female and has been known to perch on top of one of the camera housings to the left of the orange column on the wide camera view of the ledge.
1/11/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Image Down for Maintenance
The still image capture will be down for hardware maintenance tomorrow, January 12th through Thursday, January 14th. Viewers should be able to see images at the ledge again Friday morning.
2009
7/22/2009  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 24th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/22/2009  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
There has been no confirmed sighting of the yellow banded female over the past three days. In order for the Game Commission to assist her she would have to regularly visit a known roosting site. If we can get reliable information about such a site, a live capture may be attempted. The adult male and female have been observed resting for long periods of time. This is an indication that the juveniles have moved out of the area. They may return sporadically over the next few weeks but soon they'll be completely independent.
7/17/2009  ::   Yellow Injured
The yellow banded female has sustained injuries that could be life threatening. The lower beak is badly injured and one eye appears to be injured as well. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. The Game Commission is considering a live capture of the fledgling to determine if the injuries can be treated. Any falcon watchers who know of yellow's favorite perches and or behavior patterns that may help in locating the fledgling should post this information to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link on the Falcon Page.
6/25/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The four surviving fledglings are doing well. They have been seen taking flight from the nest ledge to their seemingly favorite food drop perches. The new Harrisburg University for Science and Technology has been a favorite haunt for the fledges. The building has many wide ledges at different levels providing easy access for the birds and great viewing for University staffers. As we move through June and into July there will be less happening at the nest ledge. For the falcon watchers on the street the action has just begun. The birds are getting flight and hunting lessons from both of the adults. Soon they will take their show on the road and fly with the fledges up and down the Susquehanna River Corridor. These corridors are not only watercourses to the Sea but also bird migration pathways and will forever signal prime feeding and breeding habitat to the Peregrine Falcon.
6/15/2009  ::   The Latest on the Fledglings
The blue-banded female fledged on Saturday. She was rescued on Sunday and placed on the roof. All four of the surviving fledglings are now doing well and getting flight lessons from the adults.
6/12/2009  ::   Fledgling News
The blue-banded female remains on the nest ledge. She appears to be in good health. She is probably the youngest and is taking her good time before fledging. The green-banded female was rescued from the street last evening and released on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building- she returned to the ledge this morning. The yellow and red-banded females continue to take short flights back and forth from lower rooftops. The white-banded male has not been as fortunate. He was discovered injured along a nearby rail line this morning. Both of his legs were severely injured. He was transported to a nearby Wildlife Rescue Center where he will be euthanized.
6/11/2009  ::   Status of Fledglings
The yellow banded female was returned to us from wildlife rehabilitation and we released her on the roof around 2 PM. She took flight within a half hour and is doing okay. The red and green banded females have been observed taking short flights to lower building rooftops. The white banded male has not yet been located. The blue banded female is content for now to rest at the ledge; she'll fledge in her own time.
6/10/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The green banded female and the white banded male have fledged. Watch and rescue members are watching both of them as they take successive flights attempting to eventually return to the nest ledge. The yellow banded female has been held for further observation to ensure that she is 100 percent recovered before placing her on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building to take flight again. Taking off from the roof, above the nest ledge, provides a better chance for the fledglings to safely return to the nest ledge.
6/9/2009  ::   Update on Yellow Band
The yellow banded female is reportedly in good physical condition. After a final examination by a vet, she could be released this evening or tomorrow.
6/9/2009  ::   First Fledge!
The yellow banded female fledged at 6:45 this morning. She was rescued from a nearby street and sent to a wildlife rescue/rehabilitation center. Preliminary information indicated she may have an injured leg. We'll get an update and report on her condition this afternoon.
6/3/2009  ::   Update on the Eyases
The five young eyases have physically grown and developed considerably since the banding event on May 27th. Soon, they will make their first flight attempt, known as fledging. Beginning on Monday, June 8th, watch and rescue staff will track the activities of the eyases as they take to the air, one at a time until all have fledged. Although the larger eyases have had the advantage at feeding times, the smaller, more agile ones may have the advantage in flight. The little male (white band) has been running up and down the ledge all week. He's just waiting for his feathers to develop a little more before he makes his first attempt. At the other end of the spectrum, we see the largest female (green band) - she may not be as agile as the smaller birds and the watch and rescue team will watch her closely and respond if she ends up on the street or on one of the nearby parking garages. In any event, fledging is probably the most critical step in the life cycle of peregrines and success can help to ensure the long-term survival of these endangered raptors.
5/28/2009  ::   Banding Results
At the May 27th banding event, the PGC banded four female nestlings, one male. All five of the eyases were treated for mites; all are doing well. The watch and rescue program will begin on Monday, June 8th and run through the weekend or until all of the eyases have fledged and returned to the ledge.
5/6/2009  ::   Educators and Students Invited to Attend Peregrine Falcon Banding Event on May 27th




On Wednesday, May 27th, the Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Game Commission will host the annual Peregrine Falcon Banding Event at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, PA from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Teachers and their students, non-formal educators and youth organizations are invited to attend this event. Activities will include the weighing, examination and banding of the nestlings. There is no cost to attend the banding event.

To register for this event, please contact Ann Devine at 717 772-1644 or adevine@state.pa.us.

Since 1997, a pair of Peregrine Falcons have made their home on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg. The falcon pair has successfully reproduced since 2000, and this Spring, the female again laid a clutch of five eggs

5/4/2009  ::   All Five Eggs Hatched!
Over the weekend, the remaining two falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to five. The fourth egg hatched out at roughly 6:40 p.m. on Friday, May 1. The fifth egg hatched out some time overnight between Saturday night May 2 and early Sunday morning, May 3. This is the second time that all five eggs have hatched.
5/1/2009  ::   Three Have Hatched
The second egg reportedly hatched around 10 AM on Friday, May 1st. The third hatched around 1:30 PM, May 1st. The weather forecast is for cool, wet weather the entire weekend. The adults will continue to keep the chicks warm throughout this period to prevent hypothermia.
4/30/2009  ::   First Egg Hatched!
The first of the five eggs hatched mid-morning today. Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. Stay tuned throughout the weekend to see if all five eggs hatch.
4/29/2009  ::   Peregrine Chicks Should Hatch Soon!
Based on incubation periods recorded in past years we should expect the first egg to hatch on or around May first. In the past one of the five eggs has failed to produce a hatchling. It will be interesting to see what happens this year.

FalconWire Archives
2017
9/8/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The rehabilitator and the veterinarian determined that the Blue-banded falcon will never fully develop, including the liver. These anomalies most likely occurred while this bird was still developing in its egg. Therefore, Blue cannot be released into the wild. At this point, the rehabilitator is in the process of locating a suitable home where the falcon can be used for educational purposes.
8/1/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
The blue-banded falcon remains at the wildlife rehabilitation center. The falcon is flying well, but still undersized. "Blue" will be having additional x-rays to examine the falcon's liver development. At this point, it appears that "Blue" may become an educator's bird supporting endangered species outreach programs.
7/28/2017  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male stays in the area most of the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/22/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Today, the rehabilitator provided an update on "Blue", the young falcon that has yet to fledge. An X-ray was done and indicated that this bird's liver is underdeveloped. This may be the reason why it was so far behind in developing its flight feathers. At this point, releasing this young falcon at the Rachel Carson State Office Building is highly unlikely. Actually, there's no guarantee "Blue" will survive in captivity. Treatment with antibiotics is progressing well but only time and close monitoring will tell. "Blue" is scheduled for another X-ray in two months. If the liver issue stabilizes, then consideration will be given to "Blue's" future.
6/15/2017  ::   Update on "Blue"
Yesterday, the blue-banded falcon received an x-ray, and it was discovered the male has an underdeveloped liver, which may explain the slow growth and feather development. At this point, the final prognosis is unclear, the current plan is to continue observation to see if "Blue" can be returned to the wild or remain in captivity as an education bird.
6/14/2017  ::   Update on Blue-Banded Male Falcon
During a subsequent flight yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded male had a possible collision with a nearby building. The young falcon became grounded and was rescued. He currently is recovering at the Red Creek Wildlife Center.
6/13/2017  ::   Blue-Banded Male Released!
Today around 11 a.m., the blue-banded male returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the building's roof. He took off immediately flying exceptionally well. The adult falcons will bring the young male food and will teach flying and hunting skills.

Both "red" and "white" are spending more time in the air getting advanced flight and hunting lessons from the adults. The adults are teaching them to dive by doing food drops.

After fledging, the falcon juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. But, as their flying and hunting skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.

5/30/2017  ::   More Fledges!
The white-banded falcon fledged around 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 27th and is flying successfully.

Around 9:30 a.m. on May 27th, the blue-banded male fledged and collided with nearby buildings. The young male landed in the street and was subsequently rescued by the falcon watch and rescue volunteers. The volunteers transported "blue" to a nearby wildlife rehabilitator, and it is recovering from a concussion. Today's report from the rehabilitator suggests it will likely recover and may be returned to the building sometime soon.

White and red both are flying well and can be observed flying between taking short flights near the Rachel Carson State Office Building and receiving hunting lessons from the adults.

5/26/2017  ::   First Fledges!
Around 6 a.m. on Thursday, May 25th, the blue-banded male took an accidental first flight landing on the roof of a nearby building. On Friday morning, May 26th, the Environmental Education Center staff and interns recovered "Blue" and placed him on the nest ledge.

Around 11 a.m., the red-banded male took his first flight, successfully landing on the nearby Harrisburg University Building and other nearby buildings. Observers have reported that "Red" is flying well.

5/16/2017  ::   Banding Results
On May 10th, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one nestling of undetermined sex. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The first male weighed in at 585 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band the other male that weighed 595 grams; and white tape on the 585 gram nestling of undetermined sex. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
4/18/2017  ::   Three Nestlings!
Around 9:30 this morning, the second chick hatched out. Then, around 12:30 p.m., the third hatchling emerged. Because these three nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge.
4/17/2017  ::   First Hatch!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:00 p.m., the first egg hatched. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the second hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
4/4/2017  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Over the weekend, a small hole was observed one of the four eggs. The adult falcons are no longer incubating it, as it was pushed aside. This egg isn't viable, and it won't hatch. While disappointing, this is not unusual. If it is still intact during banding, the Pennsylvania Game Commission biologists will collect it for pesticide analysis.
3/15/2017  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 12th and the fourth egg this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure.
3/10/2017  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 12:25 p.m. today. The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on the ledge and nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/8/2017  ::   First Egg!
At around 8:16 a.m. today, March 8th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.

1/25/2017  ::   Breaking News From the Nest Ledge!
Since January 11th, a new male peregrine, band code 38/S, has been visiting the nest ledge and observed pair bonding with the resident female. This apparently larger bird was banded in 2010 on the McElhattan Bridge in Clinton County near Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The nearly 14 year-old resident male, band code W/V, was spotted back on the ledge yesterday. The male at this nest site often leaves the area for a week or two and then return when breeding activity typically resumes.

This morning, an unbanded female arrived on the ledge. Based upon observations from staff, there may have been a territorial battle between the females this morning. The resident female was later observed on the ledge, and so far, there are no reports of the unbanded female. It's possible that the challenger may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what to expect for the 2017 nesting season.

2016
10/5/2016  ::   Window Washing
Today, window washers will be cleaning the windows on the front side of the Rachel Carson Building. As an endangered species, building maintenance must be scheduled outside of the breeding season to avoid any disturbances to the nest.
7/29/2016  ::   Update from the Ledge!
The last report of the red-banded female was on June 28th, where she was observed eating on a nearby building and flying in the area. As far as we know she may be okay as no news is good news. The other fledges have not been observed lately, so they are likely no longer in the area and confident in their flying and hunting abilities.

The Falcon Cam is live year round, and viewers may tune in to see the adult pair spending time together at the ledge. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good. The resident female typically stays in the area year round. The resident male now stays in the area throughout the year as well. There is ample food supply available and the climate is suitable, even the cold winter temperatures.

6/30/2016  ::   Red - Injured?
The red-banded female may have sustained injuries late last week. The beak and one eye may be injured. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. Any falcon cam watcher who observes red eating should email the date and time of feeding along with a photo, if possible, to ra-epfalcon@pa.gov. She has red tape over a silver leg band on her right leg and a black and green band, 83/BR, on her left leg.
6/13/2016  ::   Fledge Update
The three fledglings likely will remain in the area for another four to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, flight and hunting lessons, leading to their complete independence. While viewers can still watch some activity at the ledge, it will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor making longer and longer flights.
6/3/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Released!
Yesterday around noon, the red-banded female returned from the wildlife rehabilitator and was released onto the 15th floor ledge. Today around 2 p.m., she took her first flight and seems to be doing well.

Both males are flying extremely well and learning advanced flight and hunting techniques, including the spectacular dive, called a stoop, where peregrines can reach speeds of more than 200 mph!

6/1/2016  ::   Red-Banded Female Update - No Fractures!
Good news! The red-banded female, who was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center on Friday, does not have any fractures. She is flying in the flight cage among perches building strength. As long as she's fully recovered, she may be released onto the building later this week. The wildlife rehabilitator noted that red is very aggressive, an important survival characteristic for this wild peregrine's success.
5/31/2016  ::   News about Red-Banded Female and Fledging Update
On Friday, May 27th, an officer from the Harrisburg Police Department retrieved a grounded red-banded female. She was taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center for examination and treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the building. We'll keep the viewers updated about her progress.

Both males are flying well and are receiving flight lessons from the adults. Soon they will start learning to hunt.

5/25/2016  ::   Fledging Update
On Monday, May 23rd, the white-banded male made the first flight around 3 p.m. He landed on the roof of the nearby train station. He was later rescued, examined and released to the roof. Yesterday, the blue-banded male fledged and safely landed on a lower roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
5/4/2016  ::   Banding Results
Yesterday, all three nestlings were banded by Pennsylvania Game Commission staff. This year, there are two males and one female. They are all in good health. Each falcon has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The female weighed in at 715 grams and has a red tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 535 gram male; white tape on another 535 gram male. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 23rd.
4/19/2016  ::   Update on the Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, the fourth egg did not hatch, and at this point, it is highly unlikely that it will. While this is discouraging, it is normal. However, the other three nestlings all seem to be feeding, growing and doing well!
4/18/2016  ::   Three Nestlings!
On Friday evening, the third nestling emerged around 7:30 p.m.

The fourth egg hasn't hatched, and at this point, it is unlikely that it will. While discouraging, this is normal. That said in past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see. The other three young falcons, called eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!

4/15/2016  ::   Eggs Hatching!
Yesterday afternoon around 4:10 p.m., the first egg hatched. Sometime overnight, the second egg hatched as well. Look for white spots on the eggs which indicate that the third hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/29/2016  ::   Nest Box Update
The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days, so we can expect the first egg to hatch around mid-April. The male has been hunting regularly for both falcons and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/14/2016  ::   Fourth Egg!
On Saturday around 10 a.m., the fourth egg arrived!
3/10/2016  ::   Third Egg!
Early this morning before dawn, the female laid the third egg! We should start to see the female doing more incubation. Last year, the female laid four eggs, so we'll have to wait a day or two to see if she lays another egg.
3/8/2016  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg before dawn this morning! The male has increased his hunting providing food for both peregrine falcons. After hunting, the male drops the prey on nearby buildings for the hungry female.
3/7/2016  ::   First Egg!
At around 7:11 a.m. on Saturday, March 5th, the female laid the first egg!

The female has the nest meticulously prepared for the event. She moved her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base.

Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch, 3-5 eggs, will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The camera angles now are set for close views into the scrape.

2/24/2016  ::   2016 Nesting Season Update
The adults have renewed their pair bond and are spending more time together at the nest ledge. Viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior and breeding activity. This courtship behavior includes vocal interactions, hunting skills, food offerings and spectacular displays of flight. The male does these acts seemingly to demonstrate his ability to be a good provider. The first egg should arrive around mid-March.

The male is entering his 13th year. He fledged from the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003. The nearly 7 year old female fledged from the PA/NJ Turnpike Bridge in Bucks County in 2009.

For more information, photos and updates, be sure to follow the falcons on Twitter and Instagram @falconchatter or on Flickr at falconchatter.

2/12/2016  ::   Live Feed of Harrisburg's Famous Peregrine Falcons Returns Just in Time for Valentine's Day
Love is in the air in Harrisburg as the city's famous pair of peregrine falcons have returned to their nest on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building just in time for Valentine's Day. To celebrate, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today launched a redesigned falcon website that features a high definition, three-camera live video feed of the nest that will now be streamed year-round. The site also provides more opportunities for people to interact through social media.

Valentine's Day is typically the time when the falcons renew their courtship behavior. The male will offer food to the female and put on a spectacular display of flight and hunting skills, all to impress her and prove his ability to be a good provider. There also is some vocal interaction at the nest.

"Providing a live feed of the peregrine falcons has helped to teach a generation of Pennsylvania school students and the public about the connection between wildlife and our environment," DEP Secretary John Quigley said. "It underscores the effects we humans have on the natural world and how we can all be better stewards."

The redesigned falcon website includes new interactive features like Instagram and Flickr where users can upload their own wildlife photos and even retweet a falcon valentine on Twitter. Visitors can learn about the falcons' history in Harrisburg, view a calendar of seasonal activity and link to other bird cams from around the state. The live video will now be streamed year-round instead of ending in June. Favorite website features like information and lesson plans for teachers and the Falcon Wire are still available.

The 13-year old male falcon has occupied the nest site at the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years. This is considered old for a wild peregrine, so at some point, a new male may challenge him for the nest site. The seven-year-old female is entering her fourth year at this nest site.

If their courtship is successful, the first of several eggs should arrive around mid-March. The first egg of 2015 arrived March 16. Since 2000, 58 of the 69 eggs produced at the nest have hatched. Thirty-four were females, and 23 males (in 2008, the sex of one of the young falcons could not be determined). The eggs typically hatch in mid-May and the young falcons take their first flights in June.

"This nest site in Harrisburg is one of the most productive ones in the state and its success is due in large part to our online community" Quigley said. "We thank our wonderful volunteers who look out for the young falcons when they're learning to fly, and our online viewers around the globe who keep tabs on their every move!"

To view the new website and video feed, visit DEP's website at www.dep.pa.gov/falcon.

2015
6/26/2015  ::   Streaming Video Time Extended
The streaming video will now end Tuesday, June 30th.
6/25/2015  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
The juveniles are spending more time in the air, getting flight and hunting lessons from the adults. This means they're spending less time at the ledge. The live stream feed will end tomorrow, June 26th. The still image capture is available year-round from the DEP Falcon Page.
6/4/2015  ::   Update from the Ledge!
This week, Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers and staff have been continuously watching the three female fledglings making flights around the city. The white-banded female has been flying successfully today after spending yesterday on a small ledge near the Capitol.

Unfortunately, late yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female died after flying into a window. There are a lot of hazards for the young falcons at urban nest sites including window strikes.

The red-banded female took her first flight early this morning and landed on a low roof on the Rachel Carson Building. She attempted to make another flight but landed on the ground near the main entrance. The DEP staff and interns rescued, examined and released her onto the roof of the building.

6/1/2015  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday afternoon, the blue-banded female fledged prematurely. She was rescued, examined and placed on the roof of the building. She's been getting regular feedings from the adults. Soon, she'll take flight intentionally and gaining strength and flying skills, will return to the nest ledge.
5/21/2015  ::   Banding Results:
All three nestlings have been determined to be females. They are all in good health. Each has a color coded tape attached to the USF&W band allowing watch and rescue crews to track their individual movements. The largest of the three weighed in at 900 grams and has a white tape; the blue tape is on the band of an 855 gram female; red tape on an 850 gram female. The watch and rescue program is scheduled to begin May 30th.
5/19/2015  ::   Peregrine Falcon Banding Event!
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM on Thursday, May 21 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be a live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 130 students and teachers will be in attendance. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/27/2015  ::   Update on Fourth Egg
Unfortunately, over the weekend, the fourth egg did not completely hatch. At this point, it is unlikely that this hatchling will emerge. While this is discouraging, it is normal. The other eyases, though, seem to be growing and doing well!
4/23/2015  ::   Three!
Early this morning, the third hatchling was discovered in the nest. All three have taken food from the adult female as of 9:30 AM.
4/22/2015  ::   First Hatch of the Season!
We have two hatchlings! One arrived late yesterday afternoon, April 21st; the second, sometime overnight, ushering in Earth Day 2015!
3/23/2015  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the third egg on March 19th and the fourth egg over the weekend on March 21st. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/17/2015  ::   Second Egg!
The female laid the second egg around 7 p.m. last night!
3/16/2015  ::   First Egg!
At around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape!

The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.

3/12/2015  ::   When Will It Happen?
Falcon viewers are in the proverbial waiting room, in anticipation of the big event! Last year, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, the first egg was laid on March 12th. This female, being consistently reliable, should deliver the first egg of the season very soon. Stay tuned as the excitement builds!
3/3/2015  ::   Streaming Video Available
An upgraded version of video streaming is now online and accessibly to falcon viewers. The new sharper images provide an intimate view into the courtship and pre-nesting behavior of the adult peregrine falcon pair here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. Stay tuned as the first egg is expected the second week in March.
2/17/2015  ::   Streaming Video Date Set
The live stream webcasting begins March 2nd.

The adult peregrines have renewed their pair bond. They are spending more time together at the nest ledge and web viewers can observe the pair exhibiting ritual courtship behavior. The male is providing food offerings to the female, exhibiting his ability to be a strong provider. The female will increase her hunting and feeding activities in advance of nesting activities. Egg production and viability is directly related to nutrition levels in the female.

2/3/2015  ::   Outlook For 2015 Nesting Season
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. By the end of February, the male typically makes food offerings to the female and breeding activity heightens. Live stream webcasting at the ledge is tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, March 2nd.
2014
8/8/2014  ::   Update on Juveniles
The adults have returned to the ledge periodically over the past several weeks. This is an indication that they are no longer flying with the fledges and that our young juvenile peregrines have become independent. Chances are, they have already arrived in one of our great flyways, where they'll be sustained by soon to occur mass migrations. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Falcon Telemetry page from the DEP Falcon Page.
7/2/2014  ::   Streaming Video Concludes for the Season
On Friday, July 4th the streaming video will be discontinued for the 2014 season. DEP staff plan to offer streaming video for the 2015 nesting season beginning the first week in February 2015.
6/10/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The morning of Saturday, June 7th the black-banded male was discovered dead on a low roof below the nest ledge. This fledgling impacted some portion of the building, likely a window or skylight. These hazards have been a significant mortality factor over the past 15 years and are typical of urban nest sites.



The other three fledges are doing well, getting flight lessons from the adults. This includes in-flight food transfers providing them with the challenge of attaining food with reliance on their own flight skills.

6/5/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
The red-banded female was rescued from a glass enclosed balcony yesterday afternoon and released from the roof of the building. All four of the fledges are now flying to and from nearby buildings. Soon, they'll get advanced flight lessons from the adults.
6/3/2014  ::   What's Next?
The fledglings will remain in the area for 4 to six weeks before they disburse. The adults will continue to provide food, then flight and hunting lessons, leading to complete independence. Activity at the ledge will steadily decrease as they explore the Susquehanna River Corridor, the habitat type that lead breeding adults to this location over 15 years ago.
6/3/2014  ::   Fledgling Update
All four of the eyases have taken their first flight. Early this morning, the red-banded female attempted her first airborne adventure. An adventure it was too; she landed on the sidewalk in front of the building where she was promptly rescued and placed on top of the building. The 2014 Rachel Carson brood of four are now referred as fledglings. This is one of the most critical times in their young lives. The highest mortality at a nest site occurs within the first week of fledging. Watch and rescue crews have proven once again that this annual vigil is well worth the time and effort involved to safeguard this endangered raptor.
5/30/2014  ::   Fledging Update
Early this morning, the green-banded male made his first flight landing on a lower ledge of the Rachel Carson Building. After a few more short flights, the male landed on the Aberdeen Street sidewalk. He's was rescued, examined and released onto the building's roof.



The black-banded male made some short flights and now is on a ledge of the neighboring Harrisburg University Building.



The Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteers are keeping a close eye on the young fledges.

5/29/2014  ::   Eyases Nearly Ready to Take Flight!
At 6:15 PM last evening, May 28th the black-banded male eyas fledged prematurely, catching a gust of wind while wing-flapping at the edge of the nest ledge. He was rescued by afterhours watch and rescue volunteers and taken to the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. This eyas and his siblings are not quite ready to fledge on their own yet but will be within several days. At this point in their young lives, they are most vulnerable and watch and rescue activities can play a key role in their survival.
5/15/2014  ::   Banding Results
Based on Game Commission banding results, we have two female and two male eyases in this years' brood. All four were examined and appear to be in good health.



Why do we band peregrine falcons?



Biologists place an alphanumeric metal band around the left leg each of the eyases with a falcon-specific code. The band code will be used by wildlife officials to monitor the birds once they leave the nest. In addition, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife band is placed on the eyases' right leg registering each on a federal banding database.



Band code reporting can inform wildlife managers as to how far peregrines migrate, where they establish breeding territory, over-wintering behavior, how long they live and causes of mortality.



Here are some outcomes revealed by banding efforts at the RCSOB:



The original breeding adult female appeared at the Rachel Carson State Office Building (RCSOB) in 1999. She was identified by her band code. By viewing the number on the band on her leg (4/4), officials were able to trace her origin to a nest on the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia. She was banded in 1998. She was the first falcon produced on a bridge in Pennsylvania to be rediscovered at a nest site.



The original male was not banded so his origin and age were unknown. This male was injured in 2003 and wildlife managers deemed him unable to survive in the wild so reuniting him with 4/4 was not an option. After five weeks the female seemed resigned to the fact that he would not return. She bonded with another male. This male was banded on the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia in 2003.



Several of Rachel Carson's young falcons have reportedly been nesting in Ohio, Delaware and other locations in Pennsylvania. While their numbers are increasing, the Pennsylvania Game Commission still lists the peregrine falcons as an endangered species in the Commonwealth.

4/28/2014  ::   Young Peregrines Demand More Food
The adults are both actively hunting. The eyases are growing so rapidly that both of the adults must provide as much food as possible. They visit the nest site often to check on the eyases but only briefly and usually off-camera. All is well with the falcon family.
4/22/2014  ::   Fourth Egg Hatches!
Sometime overnight or early this morning, the last of the falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to four!
4/21/2014  ::   Three Nestings!
Yesterday, 4/20, three of the four eggs hatched!

For the last egg, look for white spots on it, which is an indication that the last hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.

4/17/2014  ::   First Hatch Soon
Based on the timing from the nesting season last year, we should expect the first hatch within a day or two. The female will move off the eggs occasionally for the male to take some incubation duties and to rotate the eggs. As this activity is happening we may see signs of pipping, or breaking out of the shell by a hatchling.
4/8/2014  ::   Update From the Nest Box
We can expect the first egg to hatch around the 20th of April. This female has been consistent within her reproductive cycle. The male has been hunting regularly and taking some of the incubation duties.
3/19/2014  ::   Four Eggs!
The female laid the fourth egg around 9:30 a.m. This may or may not be the full clutch...within several days we'll know for sure. The female will do most of the incubation, and the male will increase his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them.
3/18/2014  ::   Three Eggs!
The female laid the second egg on Saturday, March 15th and the third on Monday, March 17th!
3/13/2014  ::   First Egg!
At around 5 p.m. yesterday, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The first and second egg should get occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives, the incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
3/10/2014  ::   First Egg Expected Soon!
We can expect the first egg to be laid sometime this week. The best estimate, based on last year's timeline, would be Wednesday or Thursday. The female has the scrape meticulously prepared for the event. She rotates her body in the scrape to make a well-rounded depression in the gravel base. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/11/2014  ::   Live Streaming Begins Friday
This Friday, February 14th, three HD cameras will begin to chronicle activities at the nest ledge. The breeding pair at the Rachel Carson State Office Building fittingly renew their pair-bond around Valentine's Day annually.
2013
10/3/2013  ::   Still Image View
Due to system maintenence, there will be only one view at the ledge for the time being.
7/22/2013  ::   Video Streaming Ends/What's Next for the Juveniles?
The live stream video has ended for the 2013 season. The still image capture will be available year-round.



The juveniles have become confident in their flying and hunting abilities and will soon leave the area.

In the past, Rachel's young falcons have traveled hundreds of miles in all directions. They'll likely spend the fall near a migration corridor, often along the Eastern Seaboard, where the food supply is abundant. To learn more about this behavior, visit the Peregrine Falcon page and click on the Satellite Telemetry button. These pages chronicle the movements of two juveniles affixed with satellite transmitters before dispersing from the Rachel Carson nest in 2002.

6/28/2013  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
All four of the Peregrine Falcon juveniles are flying confidently and honing their hunting skills. They have been spending less time at the ledge so as to become more independent. At times they return for rest, at nightfall, for protection from the elements, or if they are hungry and have had an unsuccessful hunt. After fledging, juveniles can remain dependent on their parents for up to two months. The adult falcons participate in their young's practice of flying and hunting, bringing them food if they have not been able to hunt their own, and even doing food drops to teach them how to dive. After these skills are attained to the best of their ability, the juveniles will leave the scrape permanently. They will continue to hunt and grow, and eventually they will search for a mate to nest and begin their life as a mature falcon, raising young as a parent themselves.
6/10/2013  ::   Fledge/Rescue Summary
The young male (yellow band) was the first to fledge, the morning of May 31st. The morning of June 1st, the largest of the brood (red band) fledged. It was a busy season for the watch and rescue crews as six rescues were undertaken. All four fledges are flying strong at this point. The adults have been observed with the juveniles delivering food in flight and giving advanced flying lessons.
6/5/2013  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledges were at the ledge this morning. They have since been seen at various perches around the city. Milk crates were placed inside the 16th floor balcony in case they land inside again and get trapped, they can hop out to the railing.
6/3/2013  ::   Blue Banded Female Released
The blue-banded female was returned onto the roof of the Rachel Carson State Office Building after being released from the wildlife rehabilitator around 11 a.m. The female has taken a few short flights to the nearby buildings and is doing okay. She was rescued by the Falcon Watch and Rescue volunteer crew on Saturday, June 1st.
6/3/2013  ::   All falcons fledged
On the morning of Friday, May 31st, the yellow-banded male was the first fledge. After a few short flights, he landed inside a balcony on the 16th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. He was later rescued and released onto the roof.

Over the weekend, the blue-banded female was rescued and taken to the Red Creek Wildlife Center because of exhaustion and dehydration. She has recovered and will be released onto the building later today.

The other falcons--white-band and red-band are making short flights around the building. DEP Environmental Education staff, interns and volunteers are coordinating the Falcon Watch and Rescue Program.

5/23/2013  ::   Banding Results
There are three females, one male. One of the females weighed in at 990 grams, the biggest we've ever banded at the Rachel Carson nest. They all had a physical exam and none showed any signs of disease, parasite infestation or injury.
5/13/2013  ::   Banding Event
The annual Peregrine Falcon banding event will be held Tuesday, May 21 at 1:00 PM in the Rachel Carson State Office Building Auditorium in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will be produced and live webcast by Commonwealth Media Services from the DEP Falcon Page. DEP is inviting teachers, with their students and non-formal educators to attend, through a pre-registration process. Biologists will weigh, examine and band the soon to be nearly four week old eyases.
5/1/2013  ::   Busy Birds
As the nestlings grow, their demand for food increases, keeping the male very busy. Soon, the nestlings will be feathered and developed enough that the female will hunt more regularly, typically bring back larger birds. It's all about biomass now and keeping up with the needs of the nestlings.
4/29/2013  ::   Full Brood of Four
Early on the morning of Tuesday, April 23rd the fourth chick hatched out. Because these four nestlings are so close in age, they should have an even chance of getting the nourishment they'll need to grow, develop and successfully fledge. The next big event for the peregrines is the banding event, scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st at 1 PM.
4/22/2013  ::   Eggs Hatch!
Sometime between 2 and 3 PM on Saturday, April 20th, the first egg hatched. Early Sunday morning the second hatchling arrived. By Monday morning, April 22nd, three nestlings were being cared for by the adults. If viable, the fourth egg should hatch soon. This close hatch time among the nestlings is good news because they should compete for food without one or another being disadvantaged by being smaller and weaker than their nest-mates.
4/10/2013  ::   Incubation
Based on past reproductive timelines, we can expect the first egg to hatch around April 21st. The male seems to be very successful in hunting and providing for the female as she does most of the incubation. The male will do around one third of the incubation, allowing the female to hunt on her own, typically taking larger birds.
3/20/2013  ::   Egg Number Four
The fourth egg was observed in the nest around 8 AM this morning. This may or may not be the full clutch... within several days we'll know for certain. The female will do most of the incubation, as the male increases his hunting efforts to provide food for both of them. The female will hunt occasionally throughout the incubation period.
3/18/2013  ::   Three Eggs!
Sometime last night, the third egg arrived.

The adults now will incubate more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/15/2013  ::   2 eggs!
The female just laid second egg at about 2:37 p.m. today.
3/13/2013  ::   First Egg!
Late last night or early this morning, the female laid the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid five days later than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/14/2013  ::   Live Streaming Video Begins!
The live stream video begins today! New HD cameras have been installed, providing a more crisp view of the fascinating behavior of Rachel's Peregrines. Activities at the ledge have been lighter this year. The peregrines have been spending more time away from the ledge. This may be because a ranging male has been persistent in his challenge to the resident male. There have been many intense battles at the ledge in recent weeks. Once this rivalry has been resolved, activity at the ledge should increase.
1/31/2013  ::   Still Image Issues
The still image capture is being handled by a new software program. Media staff are working to resolve problems that result in the image failing to refresh regularly.
2012
12/17/2012  ::   New Cameras Installed and Running
The new HD digital cameras have been installed. The still image capture is currently getting feed from one of three cameras. Later, networking hardware will be installed to bring the other two cameras into a viewing sequence, covering most of the ledge area. By the first week in February, the system should be ready for HD live stream broadcast.
11/28/2012  ::   Camera Upgrades
The cameras at the ledge will be replaced with new, state-of-the-art cameras to improve the image we provide for the 2013 nesting season. By Monday, December 3rd, the still image should be back on line.
8/8/2012  ::   Update from the Ledge
The live stream video has ended for the season. The still image capture is available year-round. The adult pair has been spending time together at the ledge and throughout the city. This is good news in that it indicates their pair bond is strong and the outlook for the next breeding season is good.
7/17/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Both of the adults have been at the ledge. This is a firm indication that the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The new female has been laying and rotating in the scrape. This behavior seems to be practice for the next nesting season which will get underway early in February of 2013.
6/22/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledglings have been sighted at various locations away from the nest ledge and occasionally visit the ledge briefly. They seem to have no interest in returning to the ledge. It is likely that the adult male is still flying with them and giving them advance hunting lessons. By the end of June, they should set out on their first long journey.
6/13/2012  ::   News from the Nest Ledge!
The new adult female falcon has been in the scrape with the male apparently pair-bonding.

She is a large falcon from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA, and was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

6/7/2012  ::   Female Falcon Update
This afternoon, an adult female peregrine was observed on the ledge. The female is banded. Based upon her alphanumeric band codes, she is from the PA/NJ Turnpike Delaware River Bridge in Bucks County, PA. She was banded on May 21, 2009, by the PA Game Commission.

Both fledges are doing well, and improving their hunting skills.

6/4/2012  ::   Fledgling Update
Both of the fledglings have been observed in flight, at times with the adult male, getting advance lessons. They are being fed at the ledge occasionally. They have reached to the point now where they are capable of receiving in-flight food exchanges. They're developing their skills rapidly.

There have been no reported sightings of any other adult peregrine appearing at or near the ledge.

5/29/2012  ::   Significant Happenings!
There is much to report on activities at the nest ledge over the holiday weekend. On Saturday, May 26th at 6:48 AM, the blue-banded eyas became a fledgling. His first attempt at flight resulted in a rescue from a low roof where a skylight prevented him from taking another attempt at flight. He was placed on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building and has been flying well since. At 7:25 AM on Memorial Day, the red-banded eyas flew and returned to the ledge. Today, the red-banded fledgling was rescued from the street after a precarious flight from a nearby treetop. The fledgling was returned to the nest ledge.

Thursday and Friday of last week the adult male seemed to be exhibiting attraction behavior, that is, he was sending notice to any passing female that he's available. Friday at 6:25 PM, a female arrived at the nest ledge and flew away. She has been spotted sporadically since the original sighting. Whether or not she is banded remains to be determined.

5/25/2012  ::   Update From the Ledge
Yesterday, just after 6AM, the red-banded eyas was swept off the ledge by a gust of wind as he flapped his wings. He was rescued from a nearby ally and returned to the ledge. At this age the eyases aren't quite ready to fly but they have the ability to make clumsy, relatively light landings. Volunteers are watching the young birds all day long from this point until they fledge and successfully return to the ledge. The adult male is doing a great job providing for the eyases on his own as there is still no sign of the adult female.

The eyases are very mobile on the ledge now and are sometimes completely out of camera view. They're spending time on a small ledge opposite the radius column behind the scrape.

5/22/2012  ::   Update on Rachel's Falcons
Despite daily search efforts, the adult female has not been located. The male has been providing food for the eyases. He is also a very good teacher. After the eyases make their first attempt at flight, he'll provide the fledges with flight and hunting lessons. We'll be observing the progress of the fledges and rescue them if they make any bad landings.
5/17/2012  ::   Falcon Sightings
The adult resident female has sustained an injury or disease that has rendered her unable to effectively hunt, feed herself and the eyases. The male has redoubled his hunting activities and is providing for the eyases. DEP staff has been trying to locate the female in hopes of live capturing her for treatment at a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center. Any information on her whereabouts would be appreciated. The female is one third larger than the male and is not banded. The male is banded. Falcon watchers can report information via the falcon page email account or call DEP's Environmental Education Center at 717 772-1828.
5/11/2012  ::   Banding Results
This year we have two male eyases- one weighs 560g, the other 590g. They're both in good health. The banding event seems to awaken the eyases to the fact that they can get out of the scrape and explore the nest ledge. This is critical to their physical development. They will begin building the strength and agility that will be necessary for them to attempt their first flight, which should happen in a few short weeks.
5/8/2012  ::   Banding Event
The banding event will be live webcast at 1 PM, tomorrow May 9th. Over 150 students, teachers and youth groups will be in attendance. Many of the teachers who will arrive with their students also attended a falcon teacher workshop here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building on April 3rd. This year we'll have two nestlings. They'll be weighed, examined and the sex will be determined before leg bands are attached. These bands will provide for an individual signature that identifies the birds when they fledge, disperse and seek out their own nesting territories.
4/30/2012  ::   Egg Update
There will be two nestlings banded at the May 9th banding event. Last year, one chick hatched for a total of three young produced at the nest over two years. This female was very young last year, and typically young peregrine females will lay eggs that are not viable. Even with adult females, one of four eggs not viable is not unusual. So there is reason for optimism in the sense that this pair has doubled the number of nestlings this year and as she matures, this female should produce eggs with a greater hatch success rate. The unhatched eggs in the nest will be added to the eggs from last year's nesting season and submitted for testing.
4/17/2012  ::   Two Hatchlings!
Yesterday afternoon, two of the chicks began to pip out of their egg shells. By early this morning, two hatchlings appeared from under the brooding female. They have been fed and appear to be active and healthy. From this point on, the adults will no longer be bored, incubating 24-7. Instead, they will be actively hunting most of the day to provide for the rapidly growing eyases.
4/16/2012  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon!
Based on past incubation periods, we can expect the first egg to hatch soon. The female is exhibiting behavior that would suggest this as well. Some of the eggs have white spots on them, also an indication that the first hatchling will arrive very soon. The close camera views are provided to get the best coverage of this fascinating point in a Peregrine Falcon's reproductive cycle.
3/15/2012  ::   Fourth Egg!
Around 7 AM this morning, the female falcon laid her fourth egg. We'll have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/13/2012  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg was laid at around 5 PM yesterday, March 12th. The female appears to be on her normal reproductive cycle.
3/12/2012  ::   Second Egg Arrives!
The second egg was laid at 6:26 AM, Saturday, March 10th. Thanks to all who emailed, reporting the time the egg was first observed.

The adults will incubate these two eggs only occasionally- when the third egg is laid, more frequently. When the clutch is complete, they'll warm the eggs continuously. This behavioral adaptation is designed to ensure that the first two hatchlings don't develop too rapidly, in which case they could kill or bully the smaller, later arriving hatchlings.

3/8/2012  ::   First Egg of the Season!
The female exhibited egg laying behavior, late in the afternoon yesterday. This morning, we have the first egg in the scrape! The egg was laid three days earlier than last year. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins.
2/27/2012  ::   Nesting Season Well Underway
The resident male and female appear to be on track for another successful nesting season. The male has been observed bringing food offerings to the female and breeding activity appears to be normal. There have been reports of conflicts in the sky, possibly the unbanded male returning to challenge the resident male. At this point, it is likely that the resident male and female will drive off any interlopers. Their bond is strong and their territory is mutually valued and defended.
1/24/2012  ::   Improved Camera Coverage
A third camera has put into the scan sequence to better cover activity at the nest ledge. As far as we know at this point there are still two males competing for breeding male dominance. Any activity observed from this point on is critical in determining how this nesting season will play out. The adult female is not banded. The new male is not banded. The resident male is banded and is somewhat smaller than the new male. DEP staff are observing the birds, as time allows, in order to identify subtle differences in plumage and markings among the three peregrine falcons.
1/19/2012  ::   Breaking News on the Resident Male!
The resident male, band code W/V, has reclaimed his territory! He was spotted at the ledge this afternoon in the company of the adult female. No sightings today of the unbanded male. It remains to be determined whether or not there was a territorial battle between the males or if this just sets the stage for a battle. Males at this nest site have had the habit of leaving the area for a week or two and then returning. Breeding activity typically takes place at this time of year so if the battle has not happened, it will likely happen soon. Any information that falcon watchers can provide about the behavior of these birds is of great value to DEP education staff monitoring the site. Information can be reported to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link below the web image window on the DEP falcon page.
2011
12/28/2011  ::   News From the Nest Ledge
A new male peregrine has been visiting the nest ledge since the first week in November. This bird is not banded and appears to be somewhat larger and younger than the resident male. The resident male peregrine was last seen in conflict with the new male on November 30th. The new male has since made food offerings to the female and they appear to be pair-bonding. It is likely that the new male was successful in his challenge for the nest site and resident female. The resident male may have been driven away or possibly killed. Any information falcon cam viewers provide regarding falcon sightings and interactions would be of great value in determining what we can expect for the 2012 nesting season.
7/14/2011  ::   Fledgling and Video Streaming Update
The fledgling is reportedly still visiting the ledge regularly. We can assume that he is also getting advanced hunting lessons and is hunting on his own as well. Soon, he should become completely independent and begin his first year journey to places unknown.

The live stream video is scheduled to end tomorrow, July 15th 2011.

7/6/2011  ::   Update
The fledgling has been observed returning to the ledge most evenings. He should soon become completely independent. The adults are seldom seen at the ledge because they're probably still giving the fledgling hunting lessons. The new adult female may remain here throughout the remainder of summer, and possibly the fall and winter, as the original female did. Or, she may spend the winter elsewhere. This is all conjecture at this point because territorial behavior varies among individual breeding peregrines.
6/6/2011  ::   Fledge/Watch and Rescue Summary
The 2011 Falcon Watch and Rescue Program for the one fledgling Peregrine Falcon nesting on the 15th Floor of Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was extremely exciting and successful. The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) official volunteer Falcon Watch and Rescue Program was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 31st, with more than 15 individuals volunteering to observe the fledglings who worked in two-hour shifts from approximately 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.



However, our one-and-only fledgling decided to take his first flight a little earlier than expected, fledging around 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 27th. DEP called off the Falcon Watch and Rescue that was scheduled for May 31st - June 3rd, but the weekend and afterhours volunteer coordinators arranged volunteers to watch throughout the Memorial Holiday Weekend.



This year no falcon rescues took place! Throughout the week, the adult falcons encouraged the fledgling to take flight by enticing him with food while performing "fly-bys". In order to prepare for flight, the juvenile falcon would strengthen his wings by flapping and running from one end of the ledge to the other. He also had some practice take-offs by running, jumping and flapping his wings at the same time.





On Friday, May 27th, the silver-banded male fledged at approximately 9:00 a.m. and landed on top of the Strawberry Square Building. He relaxed there for about 10 minutes then attempted his next flight towards the 333 Market Street. He wasn't strong enough, however, to gain the height to the top, so the adult female guided him to the top of the Rachel Carson Building. Within an hour of this first take off from the ledge, he was back on the ledge again to rest.



After his first flight, he continued to hone his flying skills by making short flights to buildings surrounding the Rachel Carson Building. Some of the most frequently visited locations included the Pennsylvania Department of Education building located at 333 Market Street, Strawberry Square, and the Forum Place Building.



By Wednesday, June 1st, DEP concluded its 2011 Flacon Watch and Rescue Program. At that time, it was determined that the fledgling had improved his flying skills enough to maneuver safely and return to the 15th floor ledge.

5/31/2011  ::   Fledgling Update
The fledgling has been seen flying with both of the adults, seemingly getting flying lessons. He's getting stronger each day. Soon, he should get hunting lessons. This involves the adults transferring food in-flight and then assisting the fledgling in pursuit of prey. He seems to be on a fast track to independence. We expect him to gain full independence within five weeks. Then, he will likely leave the area traveling to unknown destinations. To learn more about this behavior, click on the Falcon Telemetry link on the DEP Falcon Page to view telemetry points and dates posted from the 2002 study.
5/27/2011  ::   The Fledge!
The little male ran the length of the ledge and took flight at 9:15 AM. He landed on nearby building. Within 15 minutes he was on top of the Rachel Carson State Office Building, his home building. Soon after, he returned to the nest ledge where he was rewarded with a meal. This fledgling now holds the record for earliest fledge and quickest return to the ledge. Watch and rescue crews will continue to track his whereabouts and ensure that if he gets into trouble they can respond and keep him out of harm's way.
5/26/2011  ::   Nestling Update
The eyas has been really active at the nest ledge. He's exhibiting behavior that suggests he may fledge prematurely. Watch and rescue crews are watching him closely in case he does fly and would have to be rescued from the street. The camera views, although not very appealing, provide the best view of the edges of the ledge where the eyas would take flight from. Our first priority is to have this view on streaming video so we can react if and when he does fledge.
5/19/2011  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, there is only one nestling at the ledge. Based on weight(660 grams)and the diameter of the legs the nestling was determined to be a male. The banding team placed an alphanumeric band on the nestling with characters large enough to read with binoculars and another US Fish and Wildlife band with a code that can be read with the bird in hand. The nestling was in good health. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight this young bird will take. He should fledge in about two weeks.
5/16/2011  ::   Banding Event Tomorrow
The banding event for 2011 will take place tomorrow, May 17th at 1 PM. The nestling appears to be in good health though it will get a thorough physical examination at the event. More than 170 students, teachers and volunteers will view the event live at the Rachel Carson State Office Building, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The event will also be live webcast through streaming video. Web users can view the streaming video by visiting the DEP Home Page at www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the falcon link.
4/26/2011  ::   Hatch Update
The remaining eggs in the scrape have had little incubation so it's likely we'll have only one nestling this season. We think this new female is very young and as such it's not unusual for her to lay infertile eggs. This may actually be good in the sense that she'll have less pressure in giving flight and hunting lessons to this nestling when it fledges than if the full clutch had hatched. Looking back to the 2000 season, mortality of the fledglings was high (75%) perhaps due to the inexperience of 4/4, the original Rachel Carson female in training the fledges to attain the skills necessary to reach independence.
4/20/2011  ::   First Hatch!
At 5:30 PM last evening, viewers noticed that one of the four eggs showed signs of "pipping out". By this morning, the first hatchling of the season had arrived. This nestling will get regular feedings as will the others when they hatch out.
4/13/2011  ::   First Hatch Expected Soon
The first hatch of the season is expected to happen the week of April 18th. The new female's reproductive clock appears to be around 9 days earlier than the original female. This will result in the earlier scheduling of key activities as well. The banding event will take place on Tuesday, May 17th and the watch and rescue activities will begin on Tuesday, May 31st.
3/30/2011  ::   Harrisburg Offspring Discovered at Nest!
The green-banded female from the 2009 nesting season has claimed her own nesting territory. This female was the largest of four females and one male banded on May 27th 2009. Her band codes were confirmed by falcon watchers on March 6th. She displaced an established female at a bridge scrape near Rocky River Metro Parks in Brookpark, Ohio, a few miles south of Cleveland. The site is close to Cleveland Hopkins Airport and the entranceway to NASA. No reports yet of eggs in the nest but there have been many sightings of breeding activity. The Harrisburg watch and rescue crews should be commended here because if not for their efforts in rescuing this female from the street several days after fledging, she may not have survived.
3/18/2011  ::   Egg Number Four!
Early this morning, the fourth egg arrived. This may be the full clutch, but we have to wait and see if another egg arrives.
3/16/2011  ::   Third Egg!
Now that there are three eggs in the nest, incubation time will increase. We can also now begin to estimate the date of the first hatch. With an average incubation time if 34 days, we can expect the first hatch to take place the third week in April.
3/14/2011  ::   Second Egg!
The second egg was delivered early Sunday morning, March 13th. Typically, a full clutch would have three to five eggs. The previous female would consistently lay five eggs to complete the clutch. Both of the adults will spend long hours hunting so the female can meet her nutritional needs during egg development. Soon, the hunting duties will shift primarily to the male, as the female spends more time incubating the eggs.
3/11/2011  ::   First Egg!
This morning at 9:30 an egg was observed in the scrape. The new female was eight days earlier, on average than her predecessor, 4/4 in delivering the first egg of the season. The first and second egg should get only occasional incubation time. When the third egg arrives incubation time should increase. The full clutch will be warmed continuously until hatching begins. From all indications, this female is very young. As such, it will be difficult to say with any certainty that this year will be as productive as past nesting seasons but it will certainly be interesting to watch and find out.
2/17/2011  ::   Video Streaming Begins
The live stream video web hosting has begun for the 2011 season. What's new for this nesting season? Most significantly, there is a new female in the nest. She arrived the first week in September of last year. The second week in September, an employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challengers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out their own nesting territory. For more on the life and legacy of the original female, click on the Falcon Stories link on the DEP Falcon Page.



The new female is not banded so her age and geographic origin cannot be determined. However, when she arrived, she sported a bit of rusty brown coloring, an indication that she was emerging from juvenile plumage. In terms of predicting the date the first egg will arrive, all bets are off. In order to provide the best chance to view the laying of the first egg, the camera will be fixed on the nest box from now until the nestlings begin moving out of the box.

2/7/2011  ::   Rachel's Falcons Begin 2011 Nesting Season
Falcon watchers have reportedly seen breeding activities at the nest ledge. DEP Environmental Education staff are preparing for another season of outreach and education on endangered species reintroduction with Rachel's falcons as the focal point. We're currently seeking approval to contract for the live streaming video (more on this later) and the annual teacher workshop is set for April 12th, here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
2010
9/14/2010  ::   There's a New Female in Town!
For the past two weeks there has been a lot of activity at and near the nest ledge. Recently, a new adult female falcon has been seen bonding with the male. The origin of this female is unknown as she is not banded. Email information from web viewers indicates that the resident female is no longer at the ledge. An employee at the Amtrak Station across the street reported seeing a dead falcon near the rail line. No carcass was found there. The resident female has probably defended the nest ledge from challenging interlopers in the past. One could speculate that at 12 years old, she could no longer fend off younger, stronger females seeking out nesting territory. Any information that web viewers care to share would be appreciated. For now, we have set two close camera views at the nest box and perch for observation purposes.
7/21/2010  ::   Blue Band Loses Battle with Trichomoniasis
Due to the trichomoniasis infection, blue lost weight and became more susceptible to secondary infections. He had intestinal parasites, which cleared up with medication, and other secondary infections. He lost weight, and never returned to his weight at the age of banding. His feather development was retarded, and he was not preening himself properly. All of these are the consequences of the initial trich infection. It is indeed a nasty disease. As a result of these conditions, euthanizing became the necessary course of action.
7/13/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
Previously, we reported that the fledges may have dispersed from the area. Viewer emails have indicated that they are still around. Here is information provided by an avid viewer:

"All the birds pretty much are off the ledge & hunkered down somewhere staying cool during the heat of the day, but early every morning the adults can be seen on the ledge, & in the evening, not only can you see the adults, but the kids as well. I've seen the parents on the ledge every day & at least one juvenile every day".

7/9/2010  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 16th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/9/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Will Be Down
The Falcon Cam will be down on Tuesday, July 13th in the morning. Viewers should be able to watch the live Falcon Cam in the afternoon.
7/1/2010  ::   Updates
For the Latest Updates Click on the Falcon Wire News Button
6/30/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
One of the fledges spent several hours resting on the ledge today. With a close camera angle we were able to get a good look at him and he looked fine. The adult male was perched above him on one of the camera housings. Now, they are out together, engaged in flight/hunting lessons. Earlier today, the adult female was spotted doing the same with the other fledge. Blue's condition continues to improve although not at the pace we would like to see. All in all Rachel's falcons are doing fine.
6/24/2010  ::   Update on Blue
The infections/parasites are gone. He's improving daily.

He will not be released here at the Rachel Carson Building-he's not ready. Feather development is still slow and weight is still down. He's not preening, so his flight feathers are slow to come in. Eventually, we would like to release him, but there is no guarantee he'll fully recover. If he does, the release may occur this Fall or Spring of 2011. He will get flying and hunting lessons while in rehabilitation.

6/16/2010  ::   Blue
Blue has gained a little more weight; he now weighs 540 grams. However, he is also being treated for parasites and a secondary protozoan infection. Because of these conditions it is best to keep him in wildlife rehabilitation. The more time that passes, the less likely it is he'll be released to the ledge. If later, he does recover fully, he may be released at another nest site where nestlings are fledging later. If he does not develop 100% strength and vitality he may remain in captivity for educational purposes.
6/11/2010  ::   Fledgling Activity
From yesterday's after hours watch and rescue reports, white took two flights last evening. Today he is perched high on a nearby building. Red has visited the ledge often and continues to investigate rooftops throughout the city. These two fledges should begin their flight/hunting lessons soon.
6/10/2010  ::   The Latest on Blue
Blue will not be released to the ledge this week. Yesterday, his weight was 510 grams. The wildlife rehabilitator would like to get his weight up to 600 grams before considering the release. In addition, his feather development is delayed. We'll keep viewers updated on his progress.
6/9/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
White has remained on the ledge since he was rescued from a boxed in low rooftop yesterday morning. The adults are withholding food from him at this point so that he'll take flight again. Then, many of the food transfers will take place in flight. Red is on top of a nearby building. He's been taking some good strong flights the past two days. Blue should return from wildlife rehab tomorrow or Friday to be released on the nest ledge.
6/8/2010  ::   The Latest News
Red had a good flight from the roof and is on the nest ledge now. The rehabilitator would like blue's feathering to develop a little more before release. We're planning to return blue to the ledge Thursday or Friday of this week.
6/7/2010  ::   Fledgling Update
The two males fledged yesterday from the ledge. From all accounts, the white banded male fledged first at around 9:30 AM. He ended up near the street were he was rescued and placed on the roof of the building. Just after 1 PM white flew from the building and landed on the sidewalk, where again he was rescued. The red banded fledge took his first flight later in the morning. He remained on a low, boxed in rooftop until today at 3:30 PM when he was rescued and placed on the roof. The goal for the fledglings now will be to return to the ledge. There are two teams of watchers keeping an eye on them.



The blue banded male taken for treatment has recovered to the extent the rehabilitator would like to return him to the ledge soon. Thanks to the weekend watch and rescue crew for rescuing white after first flight attempt and briefing DEP staff on these happenings this morning.

6/1/2010  ::   Blue-Banded Male Update
This afternoon, officials from the Game Commission successfully retrieved the blue-banded male falcon that was taken by a wildlife rehabilitator for treatment. Upon recovery, the falcon will be returned to the ledge. The other two eyasses were treated as a precaution and returned to the ledge.
6/1/2010  ::   Update about Blue-Banded Male
At the time of banding, signs of the trichomoniasis (trich) infection were observed in the blue-banded male. The eyas was treated with the recommended dose of antibiotic by the Game Commission's Art McMorris. Trichomoniasis is a fairly widespread infection in young raptors. After careful observation, and in response to public notification that he is not responding well, the Game Commission has decided to retrieve the eyas so that it can be re-examined and, if necessary, treated more extensively off-site by a veterinarian until he is ready to be returned to the nest. The other two eyasses, which did not show signs of trich, will be re-examined as well. Infections, parasites and other maladies are a "fact of life" in wild animals, and we are fortunate that we can give this peregrine the benefit of medical attention.
5/27/2010  ::   Banding Results
This year, for the first time, all of the nestlings are males. The banding team placed colored tape on the nestlings for the purpose of keeping track of them when they fledge. The largest of them, at 690 grams, is sporting white tape; the smallest, at 550 grams, blue and the middle sized nestling, at 590 grams, has red tape. Watch and rescue teams are now forming in anticipation of the first flight these young birds will make. They should begin fledging in about two weeks.
5/26/2010  ::   Banding Event
The annual banding event will take place at 1 PM tomorrow, May 27 here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building. The event will be live stream webcast. This is a highly valued educational opportunity as nearly 180 students and teachers will be in attendance. Visit the DEP Website at www.depweb.state.pa.us to view the banding event.
5/11/2010  ::   Brood Complete
This year, there is a full brood of three nestlings. Last year and in 2006 there were five. In eight of the nine previous years the brood numbered four. In 2005, there was a full brood of three nestlings. The adult female at this nest site is now 12 years old. It is not unusual for a breeding bird of this age to lay one or two infertile eggs. The birds cannot be disturbed at this critical time so the remaining infertile egg will be retrieved after the fledglings have dispersed from the area. The real work now begins for the adult pair. They will have to hunt continuously to keep up with their rapidly growing brood.
5/7/2010  ::   Status of Eggs
One of the two remaining eggs was broken sometime overnight. There is one unhatched egg remaining. Since there was yolk in the broken egg, it most likely was infertile, or at least, any embryo had little development. If the other egg is not viable, it will begin to decay, and will be vulnerable to breaking under the process of decomposition.
5/6/2010  ::   Status of Unhatched Eggs?
To date, the two remaining eggs have not yet hatched. In past years, there has been as many as four days in between hatches, so now we need to wait-and-see what happens. By this weekend, hopefully we'll see the hatches.
5/3/2010  ::   Three Eggs Hatched!
The second egg reportedly hatched around noon on Saturday, May 1st. The third egg hatched early this morning, May 3rd, sometime before dawn. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the fourth egg hatches.
4/29/2010  ::   First Egg Hatched!
Around 2:45 p.m. today, the first Peregrine Falcon nestling, called an eyas, hatched out of its egg. The young falcon used an egg tooth on its beak to break through the shell. Keep watching the PA Falcon Cam to see when the next egg hatches.
4/27/2010  ::   Eggs to Hatch Soon
We expect the first egg to hatch the end of this week or into the weekend. The hatchlings will take food shortly after emerging from the egg. When all of the eggs have hatched, the adults will have to hunt and provide food for the nestlings for the following eight weeks as they grow and develop. Even after fledging in June, the young birds will be dependent on the adults to deliver food in-flight until the fledges attain independence.
4/13/2010  ::   Email Notification
If you are signed up on our educator database and have requested email notification about big events and happenings related to the falcons, this message is for you- The next big happening will be the hatching of the first egg, around the end of April to the first day or two in May. Viewers who want to catch this kind of action should visit the Falcon Page often and may also follow the falcons on Twitter- click on the Twitter link on the Falcon Page. To help anticipate when these big things will happen, click on the Falcon Wire News link and read the updates from the 2009 nesting season.
4/8/2010  ::   Juvenile Female Claims New Territory
The red-band coded female that fledged from the Rachel Carson State Office Building two years ago has been spotted at a nest site in Wilmington, Delaware; she may be responsible for killing the resident female and taking over the scrape.

This female was banded on May 22nd 2008 and weighed 795 g, the largest of the four nestlings banded that day. The Rachel Carson female and her mother, the nesting female at the Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia from 1998 until 2005 are know to biologist as intensely aggressive and territorial. These traits have clearly been passed on to their progeny.

To see the young female at her new scrape, visit http://www.dosbirds.org/wilmfalcons

3/30/2010  ::   Egg Number Five!
Shortly after noon today, March 30th, the fifth egg arrived. This is probably the full clutch. From this point until the eggs hatch around the end of April, the male will be the primary hunter, providing food for the female. He will also incubate the eggs about 30% of the incubation period. After hatching, up until the eyases fledge in the middle of June, both of the adults will rely on their hunting skills to provide for a rapidly growing family. The abundance of migrating and resident birds in the area will be key to the success of the falcon nesting season here at the Rachel Carson State Office Building.
3/29/2010  ::   Egg Number Four!
Sometime after nightfall on Saturday, March 27th and 11:20 AM on the 28th the fourth egg arrived. This could be the full clutch or as in the past three years, the full clutch may end up numbering five.
3/25/2010  ::   Third Egg!
The third egg arrived sometime in the early morning of March 25th. One or two more will probably complete the clutch.
3/23/2010  ::   Second Egg!
Early this morning, March 23rd, the female Peregrine Falcon laid the second egg. As the clutch grows, the adults will begin brooding for longer periods of time. This progressive brooding behavior allows the eggs to hatch at close intervals. The male and female will share brooding duties; the male will sit 30 to 40 percent of the entire time it takes to hatch the full clutch.
3/22/2010  ::   First Egg!
The first egg was laid at approximately 8:15 AM on Saturday, March 20th. We can expect the next to arrive very soon. This egg will get very little incubation as the even growth and development of the eyases is a very important factor in nest production; more to follow on this later.
3/18/2010  ::   First Egg Expected Soon
Rachel's female falcon should lay the first egg of the season within the next few days. She is expected to lay 4 to 5 eggs. The first two eggs will get little incubation time. After the third egg, incubation time is increased. When the clutch is full, incubation is constant. The entire incubation period lasts for 32 to 35 days. The female does most of the sitting on the eggs; the male will sit for approximately 30% of the incubation time. The camera angles will now be set for close views into the scrape.
3/11/2010  ::   Camera Angles
Soon the cameras will be set to view inside the nest box. For now the most interesting activities are seen at the current camera compositions. The southeast corner of the ledge and the perching post are habitual hangouts for these birds. Breeding activity often takes place on the southeast corner as well.
3/9/2010  ::   Eggs Before Easter
The first egg of the season should arrive within two weeks time. Last year the first egg arrived on the 21st of March. The adult female has been within two to three days on this egg-laying schedule for the past ten years. For the past four years the female has laid a full clutch of five eggs. Egg production is directly related to nutrition, the availability of food and the ability of a healthy breeding pair to attain and metabolize it. The happy irony is that this is an ongoing tribute to Rachel Carson and her work- most notably the 1962 book Silent Spring. Peregrine falcons have made their home on the fifteenth floor ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building for the past 11 years.
2/4/2010  ::   Male Peregrine Returns!
At 1:25 PM today, February 4, 2010 the Rachel Carson male peregrine was spotted on the southeast corner of the ledge. This ends his long absence from the ledge and renews expectations for another successful nesting season.
1/27/2010  ::   Adult Male Sightings
Typically this pair of peregrines can be found spending much of their time together this time of year. The female has been seen frequently at the ledge, the male has not been spotted for some time. This male does tend to wander for long periods of time and possibly at great distances. If he is not with this female the first week in February we can speculate that something may have happened to him. In any case, web cam viewers are urged to email via the Contact DEP link to report peregrine sightings at the ledge. The male is one third smaller than the female and has been known to perch on top of one of the camera housings to the left of the orange column on the wide camera view of the ledge.
1/11/2010  ::   Falcon Cam Image Down for Maintenance
The still image capture will be down for hardware maintenance tomorrow, January 12th through Thursday, January 14th. Viewers should be able to see images at the ledge again Friday morning.
2009
7/22/2009  ::   Live Streaming Video to End
On Friday, July 24th the streaming will end. The still image capture will continue to be available on the Falcon Page.
7/22/2009  ::   Update on Juvenile Peregrines
There has been no confirmed sighting of the yellow banded female over the past three days. In order for the Game Commission to assist her she would have to regularly visit a known roosting site. If we can get reliable information about such a site, a live capture may be attempted. The adult male and female have been observed resting for long periods of time. This is an indication that the juveniles have moved out of the area. They may return sporadically over the next few weeks but soon they'll be completely independent.
7/17/2009  ::   Yellow Injured
The yellow banded female has sustained injuries that could be life threatening. The lower beak is badly injured and one eye appears to be injured as well. These kinds of injuries usually occur as a result of a collision with glass or some other urban structure. The Game Commission is considering a live capture of the fledgling to determine if the injuries can be treated. Any falcon watchers who know of yellow's favorite perches and or behavior patterns that may help in locating the fledgling should post this information to the falcon email account by clicking on the Contact DEP link on the Falcon Page.
6/25/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The four surviving fledglings are doing well. They have been seen taking flight from the nest ledge to their seemingly favorite food drop perches. The new Harrisburg University for Science and Technology has been a favorite haunt for the fledges. The building has many wide ledges at different levels providing easy access for the birds and great viewing for University staffers. As we move through June and into July there will be less happening at the nest ledge. For the falcon watchers on the street the action has just begun. The birds are getting flight and hunting lessons from both of the adults. Soon they will take their show on the road and fly with the fledges up and down the Susquehanna River Corridor. These corridors are not only watercourses to the Sea but also bird migration pathways and will forever signal prime feeding and breeding habitat to the Peregrine Falcon.
6/15/2009  ::   The Latest on the Fledglings
The blue-banded female fledged on Saturday. She was rescued on Sunday and placed on the roof. All four of the surviving fledglings are now doing well and getting flight lessons from the adults.
6/12/2009  ::   Fledgling News
The blue-banded female remains on the nest ledge. She appears to be in good health. She is probably the youngest and is taking her good time before fledging. The green-banded female was rescued from the street last evening and released on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building- she returned to the ledge this morning. The yellow and red-banded females continue to take short flights back and forth from lower rooftops. The white-banded male has not been as fortunate. He was discovered injured along a nearby rail line this morning. Both of his legs were severely injured. He was transported to a nearby Wildlife Rescue Center where he will be euthanized.
6/11/2009  ::   Status of Fledglings
The yellow banded female was returned to us from wildlife rehabilitation and we released her on the roof around 2 PM. She took flight within a half hour and is doing okay. The red and green banded females have been observed taking short flights to lower building rooftops. The white banded male has not yet been located. The blue banded female is content for now to rest at the ledge; she'll fledge in her own time.
6/10/2009  ::   Fledgling Update
The green banded female and the white banded male have fledged. Watch and rescue members are watching both of them as they take successive flights attempting to eventually return to the nest ledge. The yellow banded female has been held for further observation to ensure that she is 100 percent recovered before placing her on the roof of the Rachel Carson Building to take flight again. Taking off from the roof, above the nest ledge, provides a better chance for the fledglings to safely return to the nest ledge.
6/9/2009  ::   Update on Yellow Band
The yellow banded female is reportedly in good physical condition. After a final examination by a vet, she could be released this evening or tomorrow.
6/9/2009  ::   First Fledge!
The yellow banded female fledged at 6:45 this morning. She was rescued from a nearby street and sent to a wildlife rescue/rehabilitation center. Preliminary information indicated she may have an injured leg. We'll get an update and report on her condition this afternoon.
6/3/2009  ::   Update on the Eyases
The five young eyases have physically grown and developed considerably since the banding event on May 27th. Soon, they will make their first flight attempt, known as fledging. Beginning on Monday, June 8th, watch and rescue staff will track the activities of the eyases as they take to the air, one at a time until all have fledged. Although the larger eyases have had the advantage at feeding times, the smaller, more agile ones may have the advantage in flight. The little male (white band) has been running up and down the ledge all week. He's just waiting for his feathers to develop a little more before he makes his first attempt. At the other end of the spectrum, we see the largest female (green band) - she may not be as agile as the smaller birds and the watch and rescue team will watch her closely and respond if she ends up on the street or on one of the nearby parking garages. In any event, fledging is probably the most critical step in the life cycle of peregrines and success can help to ensure the long-term survival of these endangered raptors.
5/28/2009  ::   Banding Results
At the May 27th banding event, the PGC banded four female nestlings, one male. All five of the eyases were treated for mites; all are doing well. The watch and rescue program will begin on Monday, June 8th and run through the weekend or until all of the eyases have fledged and returned to the ledge.
5/6/2009  ::   Educators and Students Invited to Attend Peregrine Falcon Banding Event on May 27th




On Wednesday, May 27th, the Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Game Commission will host the annual Peregrine Falcon Banding Event at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, PA from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Teachers and their students, non-formal educators and youth organizations are invited to attend this event. Activities will include the weighing, examination and banding of the nestlings. There is no cost to attend the banding event.

To register for this event, please contact Ann Devine at 717 772-1644 or adevine@state.pa.us.

Since 1997, a pair of Peregrine Falcons have made their home on the 15th floor ledge of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg. The falcon pair has successfully reproduced since 2000, and this Spring, the female again laid a clutch of five eggs

5/4/2009  ::   All Five Eggs Hatched!
Over the weekend, the remaining two falcon eggs hatched out, bringing the brood to five. The fourth egg hatched out at roughly 6:40 p.m. on Friday, May 1. The fifth egg hatched out some time overnight between Saturday night May 2 and early Sunday morning, May 3. This is the second time that all five eggs have hatched.
5/1/2009  ::   Three Have Hatched
The second egg reportedly hatched around 10 AM on Friday, May 1st. The third hatched around 1:30 PM, May 1st. The weather forecast is for cool, wet weather the entire weekend. The adults will continue to keep the chicks warm throughout this period to prevent hypothermia.
4/30/2009  ::   First Egg Hatched!
The first of the five eggs hatched mid-morning today. Typically, the female lays an egg at one to two day intervals. Stay tuned throughout the weekend to see if all five eggs hatch.
4/29/2009  ::   Peregrine Chicks Should Hatch Soon!
Based on incubation periods recorded in past years we should expect the first egg to hatch on or around May first. In the past one of the five eggs has failed to produce a hatchling. It will be interesting to see what happens this year.

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