Peregrine falcon chicks were born this week on the roof of the W.E.B. Dubois library at UMASS-Amherst.
Mass Wildlife has been monitoring a pair of nesting falcons at this location for the past ten years. The fastest flying bird in the world – the Peregrine Falcon – has remained on the Endangered Species list since 1967.
Tom French is the director of MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. He says the use of the pesticide DDT in the 1970’s nearly wiped out the Peregrine Falcon in the Eastern United States.
“When we started an endangered species program in Massachusetts the restoration of Peregrine falcons was the very first new project we set up. We released them in downtown Boston and the UMASS campus and that effort has really paid off now,” French said.
Twenty-eight pairs of falcons live in Massachusetts today, up from 25 pairs in 2010. Peregrine falcons normally nest on the edges of cliffs but have recently begun nesting on top of buildings and bridges. To watch the falcon chicks grow into adults this spring you can access a live video stream on the UMASS library website.