On Thursday morning three peregrine falcon chicks were banded atop the Bank of America building in downtown Providence.
Jeff Hall, senior director of advancement at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI), was there to assist. He said falcons have been nesting at the Superman Building for 15 years now, making this a yearly spring ritual.
The Audubon Society of Rhode Island is leading free daily birds walks this month, during the height of spring migration, all over the state from North Smithfield to Coventry to South Kingstown.
At this time of year, male birds are sporting bright colored plumage to attract mates. Jeffrey Hall, the organization’s senior director of advancement, points out that trees aren’t lush with leaves yet.
The female falcon that nested atop the Superman building last year is back this spring. The falcon laid her first egg less than a week ago, according to Jeff Hall, senior director of advancement for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.
Through the organization’s Peregrine webcam, bird enthusiasts are observing the falcon and her male partner taking turns at the nest. Hall said the falcon will sit on her eggs constantly until all her eggs are laid.
“So all the eggs will then mature, if you would, at the same time,” said Hall. “so they’ll all hatch around the same time.”
Bald eagles aren’t the only bird of prey thriving in Rhode Island. Ospreys are also making a comeback.
The population of ospreys substantially declined from the use of the pesticide DDT after World War II. Rhode Island initiated an osprey monitoring program in 1977 to document the fish-eating raptor’s recovery and breeding success.
Birders are spotting bald eagles in Rhode Island in greater numbers than ever before. As Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza reports, this is a sign the bird of prey is rebounding in much of its former geographic range, which includes New England.