Press Release: For Immediate Release
PEREGRINE FALCONS NESTING ATOP
UMASS AMHERST LIBRARY
GET LIVE REALITY SHOW
Amherst, MA – A pair of Peregrine Falcons, which have successfully nested on the roof of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst for the past ten years, now have a live webcam thanks to the UMass Amherst Facilities Planning Division, the Office of Information Technology (OIT), the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), the Libraries' Systems and Web Management Department, and the Friends of the Libraries. Live images of the falcons brooding their eggs and caring for their hatchlings can be viewed at www.library.umass.edu/falcons.
“We are very happy that this project is coming to fruition after lots of hard work and goodwill,” said Richard Nathhorst, Capital Project Manager, Facilities Planning, at UMass Amherst.
Each spring, Richard Nathhorst and personnel from MassWildlife band the chicks after they hatch. Since the nest box was installed in 2003, the federally endangered Peregrine Falcons have been successfully reintroduced into Western Massachusetts.
In the 1930s and 1940s, there were approximately 375 nesting pairs east of the Mississippi River in the United States. Due to the effects of the pesticide DDT, the falcons laid thin-shelled eggs that broke under the weight of the adult birds during incubation, leaving no young to replace the adults. By 1966, not a single nesting pair remained in the eastern United States. The last historically active nest in Massachusetts was on Monument Mountain in Great Barrington in 1955.
With the ban of DDT in the U.S. in 1972, restoration efforts began. In 2007, there were 14 known territorial pairs in Massachusetts. This was the first year that the number of pairs had returned to their pre-DDT levels.
MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation - including restoration, protection and management - of fish and wildlife resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.
Last Edited: 24 October 2012