The peregrine falcons nesting atop the Superman Building in downtown Providence have welcomed the first of their four chicks this week. A new female peregrine falcon has taken over the nest this year.
The Audubon Society of Rhode Island has been monitoring the nesting box atop the Superman building for more than 10 years. This year, staff noticed the female who had been nesting there since 2000 was displaced.
Jeff Hall, senior director of advancement, said no one knows whether the bird died of age or during migration, or whether she was outcompeted by a younger bird.
Hall notes the new female is larger than the previous bird.
“And we know it’s a new female because this bird has bands on it," said Hall. "So at one point in its development, it was either banded at birth or could’ve been netted at some location, we don’t know yet because we can’t see the numbers yet.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has records of all the bands. Hall said next month when they band the chicks, biologists will try to get a photo of the falcon's band numbers to learn this new female falcon's story.
What can be seen through the Peregrine webcam is the female tending after her newly hatched chick, said Hope Foley, spokeswoman for the Audubon Society. The rest of the chicks will likely hatch this week.
“This is a great week to start watching the Peregrine webcam, as we have one hatched baby and three eggs, which will be hatching within the next few days,” said Foley. She said you can also see the couple trading off responsibilities between keeping the eggs and chick warm and bringing food to the nest.