Since producing eggs April 19, peregrines Nitz and Mouse are well past the normal length of time for incubating their eggs, an average of 30 to 32 days.
Why is incubation taking so long?
Even though the eggs are not viable, without the cue to either feed a chick or get rid of a rotten egg, the parents are not stimulated to change their behavior. Basically, they stay incubating eggs that will not hatch.
Why don’t we take the eggs away?
It is better for the birds if we leave them alone. Ultimately, they will abandon the nest. The eggs will be collected after that occurs. This circumstance is not unusual, especially for older birds such as Nitz, who is 16 years old.
For more than 20 years, UIC’s 28-story University Hall has been home to a peregrine falcon family nesting on its ledges. Once an endangered species, the falcons have made a dramatic comeback in the Midwest since Chicago Peregrine Release placed the first chicks atop University Hall in 1986. The falcons may be the fastest animals in the world — a diving falcon was clocked at 242 miles per hour. To see UIC’s resident raptors, look to the skies!
UIC peregrine falcons on YouTube
The Chicago Peregrine Program oversees Illinois’ peregrine falcon population by monitoring nest sites, conducting scientific research and participating in public education. The site includes links to all six Midwest streaming falcon webcams, a map of territories, facts about falcons and what do if you find an injured bird.