BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A new University at Buffalo Web camera is
capturing life in a peregrine falcon nest on the UB South Campus in
Buffalo, where, for the second consecutive year, a female has laid
Anyone with access to the Web can watch those eggs hatch at http://www.buffalo.edu/webcam/falconcam.html
on a live feed that refreshes every 10 seconds -- and if all
goes well, the chicks grow and mature in the nest.
The UB "falcon-cam" is particularly important, members of the
local bird-watching community say, because the Audubon Society
camera that had been installed in the Statler Tower's falcon nest
went dark last month when that historic building was
Staff members from UB Facilities, with assistance from New York
State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Buffalo
Audubon Society, installed the Web cam in the UB nest last
The nest was custom-made and installed by UB Facilities staff
last year in the tower of the campus's historic Mackay Heating
Local birdwatchers are certain that the female peregrine at UB
is BB, the same female who laid eggs in the MacKay tower nest last
spring. But Smokey, last year's male, has been replaced by Yankee,
a bird from the Niagara Gorge nest.
Al Gilewicz, UB's assistant director of utility operations, says
Smokey did return to the UB nest briefly and fought with BB and
Yankee -- with the altercation captured by the camera. Smokey was
driven off, but not before one of the three eggs in the nest was
broken. A short time later, though, the camera documented that BB
laid another egg, bringing the total back to three.
Gilewicz praised the work of UB Information Technology staff, in
particular Jeff Klein and Joe Mantione, in getting the Web cam to
"The technical people really made it come alive," he adds.
Last spring, UB Facilities staff, working with local officials
from the DEC and the Buffalo Audubon Society, built the nesting box
and received permission from the state Office of Historic
Preservation to install the box near the top of the tower: the
MacKay tower is a state historic landmark.
Four chicks were hatched last May. DEC biologists banded them
in order to identify and monitor them for the rest of their lives.
While biologists say chicks are unlikely to return once they leave
their nest, their parents frequently return to the same nest to
raise another brood.