City awaits newest natives

Falcons nesting atop a Collins St building have become the chirp of the town, as webcam watchers await a female’s latest attempt to hatch her chicks.

After last year’s chicks heartbreakingly failed to survive, eagle-eyed watchers reported in early September that a female had laid four new eggs and hatching was expected to take 30-40 days.

As a result, the new chicks were expected to emerge in early to mid-October.

A live webcam was set up in 2016 to watch the birds of prey in a volunteer-made nest atop 367 Collins Street.

Since then, a 24-hours-a-day stream of the falcons’ movements on the 33-storey building has been broadcast online.

Throughout September, enthusiasts watched closely as the female continued to incubate while the male was busy hunting.

How warm she kept the eggs would determine how long it took to hatch.

A Facebook discussion page on the falcons grew from 200 to over 750 followers in September.

It is not uncommon for peregrine falcons to nest atop skyscrapers.

Typically poor nest-makers, they’ll set up camp anywhere from gutters to coastal cliffs.

It is unclear whether the current pair of birds are the same as last year, whose two chicks died after eating what was suspected to be a poisoned pigeon brought back by one of its parents.

The falcons’ primary diet is small and medium-sized birds, which are hunted by both parents once their young have hatched.

They swoop prey at speeds of up to 300 kmh, which proves dangerous in the confines of cities, given the prevalence of overhead power lines and wires.

Heart-warmingly, the birds mate for life.

Here’s hoping mum and dad welcome the safe arrivals of their chicks this October.

You can watch the falcons live at 367collinsfalcons.com.au

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