Update, April 30: There are now two chicks and an unviable egg in the nest. According to Cal Falcons, it’s unlikely the parents will remove the egg from the nest, although it might break as the chicks grow older. It takes about 35-42 days from hatching before the chicks, known as nestlings or eyases at this stage, to fledge, meaning they will have developed wing feathers that are large enough for flight.
Original story: A peregrine falcon laid an egg this week high up in the Campanile tower overlooking the UC Berkeley campus, and more eggs are likely on their way.
All the comings and goings of the two birds of prey that have made Cal their temporary home, and the eventual hatching of their chicks, can be watched live as the university has installed two webcams up on the tower. One is directed at the nest, a shallow box of gravel, the other at a wall on the tower’s second balcony where the babies exercise to develop their flying skills.
Gretchen Kell of UC Berkeley’s communications and public affairs office said the university is expecting to see more eggs. “People can watch at their computers at work and home as the family grows,” she wrote by email.
The same pair of birds has raised its young atop Berkeley’s bell tower for the past two years.
Eggs are laid about every two days — falcons typically lay between three and five eggs a season — according to Mary Malec, a volunteer raptor nest monitor with the East Bay Regional Park District.
After the third egg is laid, the birds will partially incubate the eggs, but the eggs will be left uncovered most of the time, Malec reported to UC Berkeley. However, the adult falcons will stay close by to protect the eggs. Chicks hatch after 33 to 34 days of incubation.