A new, more powerful web camera on the roof of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library is giving viewers a close-up look at the newest brood of peregrine falcon chicks in their nest box.
Three chicks have hatched and one egg is still being incubated by the adult falcons, which have nested at the site for 11 years.
The new camera is a cooperative effort of Design and Construction Management, the Office of Information Technologies (OIT), the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 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 http://library.umass.edu/falcons (or by clicking on the Falcon Cam button on the Library’s web page: http://library.umass.edu) with support for both iOS and Android mobile devices.
To raise money to continue improving the Falcon Cam, anyone who makes a donation to the Falcons of Du Bois Library (http://bit.ly/duboisfalcons) by May 21 will be entered into a drawing to participate in the banding of the birds, which is slated to occur in late May, atop the Du Bois Library. Banding takes place on short notice, so the winner must be available to attend the banding at the designated date and time.
“The new camera is a wonderful addition since it allows us to zoom in and out remotely in order to allow viewers to follow the action of the birds,” said Richard Nathhorst, capital project manager in Design and Construction Management. “The camera even has sound so we can hear what is going on.”
Each spring, Nathhorst and personnel from MassWildlife band the chicks after they hatch. Since the nest box was installed in 2003, the federally endangered peregrines have been successfully reintroduced into western Massachusetts.
MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation—including restoration, protection and management—of fish and wildlife resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.