Peregrine falcon babies, that is.
Chicks or eyases, as they are called.

As some of you may remember, one of the concerns with repairing the Tower, was that it could disrupt the nesting schedule of the falcons who were living in the roof.  The Roland Park Community Foundation decided to take on this project out of concern that the City might not be able to work around their schedule. The City brought in Craig Koppie to advise us.  He is a raptor specialist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.  The roof was repaired in construction but Craig thought we could build a box for them in the belvedere, closed to the inside of the Tower but open to the outside. Because the Tower is a historic structure, we could not attach anything to it.  Craig found a way to build a nesting box, or scrape, as they are called in the birding world. It sits in the Tower but is not attached. Craig built the box and we waited.

The falcons left when the scaffolding went up and came back for occasional visits to check on the progress.  Once the scaffolding came down, they arrived back.  

The father was first banded by Craig Koppie at a lighthouse near Hart Miller Island and the mother was banded when she was 3 weeks old on the Brooklyn Tower of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge,  so the neighbors have affectionally named them Brooklyn and Hart Miller, or Hart or Miller, depending on the person.  Peregrine Falcons mate for life.  What a Baltimore love story.  

We crossed our fingers that this crazy experiment of taking away their home in the roof to establishing a new box in the belvedere would work.  Sure enough, we have TWO BABIES.  Craig took this photo a few days ago and thinks they were born around May 15th.  He says they will hop to the ledge in 28-30 days.  The Tower is an octagon.  If you are facing the doors of the Tower, the box is  one panel to the right, up in the belvedere.

Learning about the falcons is also learning about the circle of life.  Craig found remnants of Blue Jays, Mourning Doves, Purple Gackles, Flickers and other miscellaneous feathers in the scrape. It looks like they are being well fed.  

A huge thank you to Craig Koppie for his wisdom and support. 

Have questions or thoughts, email rolandwatertower@rolandpark.org and we will try to answer them in our next bulletin.  

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