New falcon family nesting on UH ledge

Peregrine falcon on UH balcony
A peregrine falcon rests on a ledge at University Hall. Photo: Jenny Fontaine

The UIC community can now keep an eye on a new falcon family nesting on a University Hall ledge by watching livestream video.

A new resident falcon has taken over the spot previously claimed by Nitz who, in recent years, did not hatch any eggs because of her age. A new, unbanded female peregrine falcon laid five eggs this spring, and four chicks can be seen in the livestream nestled underneath the raptor.

“Nitz was just too old to compete with a younger bird for the territory,” said Mary Hennen, director of the Chicago Peregrine Program. “Nitz was 19, which is very old for a peregrine. She hadn’t laid eggs for two years. It wasn’t surprising that she was replaced with a new bird.”

Experts from the Chicago Peregrine Program hope to identify the new female and safely band the baby chicks in the future.

“Banding, if possible, allows us to learn things about longevity and dispersal,” Hennen said.

Peregrine falcons have been nesting at UIC since 1986, when the Chicago Peregrine Release placed the first chicks atop University Hall.

“Height is not as important as the architecture of the ledge,” Hennen said. “Buildings are nothing but pseudo-cliffs to the falcons. They want to be on the side of the ‘cliff.’ They like protection from prevailing winds. They need to be able to see all around while sitting on the eggs. UIC hits all those buttons.”

For information about the UIC nesting site, please contact Judee Olechno,

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