Watch Live Peregrine Falcon Cam Nest Box!
The Peregrine falcon chicks have left the nest and the Ameren Missouri Falcon Cam live video feed has concluded for the 2017 season. Along with our partners, the World Bird Sanctuary and the Missouri Department of Conservation, we thank you for your interest in this program that helps support environmental education, stewardship and conservation of our region’s natural resources. Please join us in the spring of 2018 to experience another amazing season.
Peregrine Watch 2017 concluded with 5 chicks hatching and successfully fledging.
Have a Question About Peregrine Falcons? Ask Jeff!
Every May and June Jeff Meshach, Director of World Bird Sanctuary, bands the Peregrine babies in at least 5 of the 7 known nests in the St. Louis area. Jeff considers his banding efforts to be one of the greatest privileges in the world. “Getting to put my hands on the fastest animal in the world, even for just a few minutes, is an unforgettable experience.”
June 23, 2017: 2017 Season Finale!
“My, how time flies when you are having fun!” That statement means that time seems to move faster when fun is being had. If Peregrine Falcons could read, they might take the statement 2 ways. First, Peregrines are the fastest creatures in the world, with an individual female Peregrine topping out at 261 MPH as she dove past her skydiving falconer chasing a lure he had dropped. Of course, Peregrines don’t use their speed to have fun. They use their incredible speed to survive, giving them an advantage at catching their prey; other birds.
A young Peregrine just spilling from its eggshell might modify the statement to, “Time flies when you are growing up.” Every one of us that watched the chicks this year, as well as years past, would attest to the modified statement. Hatching to leaving the nest, or fledging, could cover a mere 50 days, give or take 5, and they are even full grown a few days before that. My daughter is fledging in August, leaving home to attend the University of Arkansas. Her fledgling period will cover 18 years and almost 3 months. So weather you are talking speed or growth, our Peregrines spend their lives in the fast lane.
In comparing this year’s kids to years past, I think this year gave us quite a show! Of the 6 nesting seasons we have had the camera trained on Ameren Missouri’s Sioux Energy Center nest box, there’s been only 2 seasons where we’ve had 5 chicks hatch. Last season had the fewest kids with 2 hatchlings. This year’s kids stayed in the box or within camera shot extra long. The Peregrine Cam team’s awesome film footage searcher was able to catch all 5 in the box on 7 June, which is more than 60 days after they had hatched. The oldest 3 had already left the box, but for whatever reason came back to be caught on camera with the younger 2. The youngest, chick, which was the last to leave the box, stayed in camera range until 14 June, which was 73 days after hatching. It could have easily left the box over 3 weeks before that. Whether they stay 50 or 75 days, watching our falcon chicks grow and the parents tend to them is one of the best things I get to do in any one year. Only thing better is getting to visit this and many other Peregrine nests in the St. Louis area to put the ever-important bands on the chicks.
There are so many people to thank, but you all know who you are, so I’ll leave it at that. Our Peregrine Cam was brought to you through a huge team effort, with the major players being Ameren Missouri, the Missouri Department of Conservation and World Bird Sanctuary. Together we hope to bring you our Peregrine Cam for many nesting seasons to come. As always, I very much enjoyed writing the weekly ASK JEFF’s, and thank you for asking so many thought provoking questions. I’m signing off for now, but look forward to writing to you in 2018!
Jeff Meshach, Deputy Director of World Bird Sanctuary