Ameren Missouri's Live Cam Provides Up-Close Look At Peregrine Falcons' Lives
ST. LOUIS (May 23, 2023) — After weeks of anticipation, viewers watched live as Peregrine falcon chicks emerged from their eggs. For the 11th year, Ameren Missouri’s Falcon Cam has given people a unique glimpse into nature via a live feed, this year from a nesting box in Franklin County, where a pair of Peregrine falcons nest and raise their chicks each spring.
"The excitement we feel when seeing the fluffy new chicks for the first time never gets old," said Julianne Randazzo, environmental scientist at Ameren Missouri. “We’re glad we can provide this space for the falcon family to nest. It’s one of the many ways Ameren is caring for our shared environment.”
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The live stream, a partnership with the World Bird Sanctuary and The Missouri Department of Conservation, is intended to give viewers the chance to witness the development of Peregrine chicks each year, while also promoting Peregrine falcon conservation efforts.
“As a Peregrine enthusiast, I am always thrilled to see how many of our Falcon Cam viewers want to learn more about these majestic birds,” said Jeff Meshach, deputy director, World Bird Sanctuary. “On the Falcon Cam website, viewers can submit questions they have about the falcons, and also read blog updates chronicling the chicks’ development.”
Viewers began watching the eggs in early April, shortly after both the male and female Peregrine parents scraped a depression in the gravel on the nest box floor. This “scrape” keeps the eggs in one spot and allows the parents to more efficiently incubate the eggs. Over the upcoming weeks, the mother and father will take turns protecting the chicks in the nest while the other parent ventures out to find food for the growing babies. The chicks will begin to fly in about seven weeks, then will learn how to hunt.
“More than 220 Peregrine chicks have hatched in Missouri since 2013, which is really positive for a species that nearly disappeared in the 1960s,” said Kristen Heath-Acre, stateornithologist for The Missouri Department of Conservation. “To continue protecting the Peregrine population in Missouri, World Bird Sanctuary will fit the new chicks with uniquely colored and numbered leg bands. This non-invasive procedure is harmless to the birds and can provide researchers with important data like survival and site fidelity of our Peregrines.”
Since 2009, Ameren Missouri's environmental stewardship falcon program in partnership with World Bird Sanctuary and Missouri Department of Conservation has seen 77 falcon chicks successfully banded and returned to their nests. Since Falcon Cam began in 2012, the Peregrine falcon’s Missouri population status has improved from “endangered” to “species of conservation concern,” according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
“A heartfelt thanks to Ameren Missouri,” says Meshach. “Through releasing captive raised falcons in the late 80's and early 90's, Ameren Missouri helped remove the species from the Federal endangered species list in 1998. Ameren Missouri continues to contribute to research and population stability, so future generations will always be able to enjoy Peregrines.”
Watch all nest activity and interactions live from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. CDT seven days a week at AmerenMissouri.com/FalconWatch until the chicks have left the nest.
About Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 135,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.
About World Bird Sanctuary
In 1977, WBS was founded by the late Walt Crawford, and is currently directed by Roger Holloway, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer. WBS is dedicated to the preservation of all birds and their habitats, and accomplishes this through rehabilitation, education, propagation, field studies, advocacy and services. WBS has been banding Peregrine Falcons since 1985. Through captive breeding and release efforts in the mid to late 80's, WBS is responsible for bringing the Peregrine back to Missouri as a breeding species.
About Missouri Department of Conservation
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. They also facilitate participation in resource-management activities and provide opportunities for people to use, enjoy and learn about nature.
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