Release Date: April 26, 2013
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Bird lovers can exhale.
Yankee, the male peregrine falcon nesting at South Campus, has found a new mate. What’s more, the female – bird enthusiasts named her “Dixie” – has produced four eggs.
“The University at Buffalo is delighted that Yankee has found a new partner,” said Ryan McPherson, UB’s chief sustainability officer. “These falcons and their offspring will allow UB to continue to support state wildlife officials in their effort to rebuild New York’s peregrine population.”
The pairing ends weeks of speculation about the fate of Yankee who along with a previous mate named BB became celebrities of sort after UB officials in 2010 installed a live video feed of their nest atop MacKay Tower.
Last month, state Department of Environmental Conservation biologists placed BB in a permanent care facility after she exhibited unusually aggressive behavior by repeatedly swooping down on people on and near the South Campus. At the time, biologists predicted Yankee would find a new mate or be displaced by another pair of peregrine falcons.
Dixie arrived after BB’s departure and laid her first egg April 3. Three eggs followed. They are expected to start hatching around May 12. Followers of the birds can watch the action via live stream at www.buffalo.edu/falconcam.
While Dixie has not displayed the aggressive behavior that BB did, McPherson nonetheless advised people on and near the South Campus to use caution when going on rooftops or walking near the tower. Peregrine falcons – protective by nature, especially when caring for eggs and fledglings – are known to swoop down on people but seldom cause injury.
Threatened by pesticides, peregrine falcons were considered an endangered species by the federal government until 1999 when recovery efforts prompted their removal from the list. Because they are still listed as endangered in New York, the state and partners such as UB are working to boost their numbers. Since 2010, 15 fledglings have hatched at UB.