Sunday, April 1st, at approximately 9:56 AM, the Utica Peregrine Falcons produced their first egg for the 2018 breeding season. The egg was laid in a nest box located on a 15th story ledge on the Adirondack Bank in Downtown Utica. The same pair of falcons (Astrid & Ares) has used the box to successfully raised young four times since 2014. A web camera placed inside the box has provided video and still images of the egg. We expect at least three more eggs to be laid in the coming week. The incubation period for Peregrine Falcons is 33 days and so the hatching of the eggs should begin in early May.
This is the third time that Astrid has laid her first egg of the season on April 1st. The earliest recorded egg-laying date for a Utica Peregrine occurred in 2015, when Astrid laid an egg on March 26th. The latest egg date for a Utica nest wasJune 6th. That egg was laid by downtown’s original resident female Peregrine (Maya) in 2009.
This spring marks the ten year anniversary for breeding Peregrine Falcons in Utica. In 2008, Utica’s original pair (Maya & Tor) nested on a 4th story ledge on M&T Bank’s Gold Dome Building. That pair of falcons nested for two consecutive years, but never successfully produced young. Astrid & Ares took over the downtown Utica territory in 2013 and began nesting the following year. A specially designed nest box was installed on the Adirondack bank building in the spring of 2013.
Peregrine Falcons, which are famous for being the fasted birds in the world, remain on the Endangered Species List in New York State. There are approximately 75 pairs known to nest in the State. About half of those nest sites are in the Adirondacks and half are in urban areas and bridges over the Hudson River. Urban falcons feed mostly on non-native Rock Pigeons and European Starlings, but they also prey on a wide variety of other birds. Monitoring of falcon nests is done for both conservation and educational purposes. Live streaming video from the Utica nest is available at the UPFP’s website:UticaPeregrineFalcons.com
Regular updates and videos can