Four Eggs! Falcon’s Momentary Absence Reveals What’s In Her Downtown Nest.

The Water Street falcon gave her devoted fans a bit of a scare recently. 

Day and night, this wild peregrine falcon has been front and center in the Falcon Cam, a live feed that keeps watch on the 55 Water Street nest, presumably incubating eggs (though I hadn’t had a chance to confirm this as she has hardly budged). But when those of us following the happenings of the nesting site tuned in on Tuesday during lunchtime, she wasn’t there. 

While the falcon’s absence allowed us to confirm that there are in fact eggs being incubated there four eggs, specifically it was also concerning: Usually when the mother falcon goes to hunt, the male often incubates the eggs while she’s gone. But no male was in sight. 

It’s fair to say that everyone’s a little on edge these days, so the idea that something might have gone wrong with the Water Street falcon was especially disconcerting. Thankfully, falcon eggs can actually be left for short periods without posing danger to the incubating falcons inside them. Still, several of us (the most I’ve seen since coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders began is 32, per the live cam’s viewer count) kept our eyes on the Falcon Cam for any movement. One viewer, Donna Zelle, even commented in the chat window, “Definitely four eggs!”

Thankfully, it wasn’t long until the falcon returned and settled back on her eggs (hopefully having scored a hearty lunch to get her through the next span of nest-sitting). 

The incubation period for peregrine falcon eggs is about 33 days. The Alliance discovered that the Water Street falcon was nesting just five days ago, and we don’t know how long she was there before. So hatchlings could really be coming any day now. 

Sarah Schweig