Keeping up with the peregrines

falconIt’s been a bit of a tough season for Hathor and Nick, Mount Clemens’ favorite peregrine falcon couple.

The peregrine pair have nested on the roof of the Old Macomb County Building for nearly 10 years. In that time, they’ve successfully hatched 25 offspring together—an incredible feat in helping to rebuild the once-endangered species’ population. This year, however, they’ve had less luck. For reasons that remain unclear, Hathor laid six eggs in three different corners of the building and, as of yet has not incubated any of them.

Peregrine Falcon Coordinator Christine Becher believes this strange behavior may have to do with the fact that the building is now occupied. Previously empty corner offices are now filled with human inhabitants, whom the peregrines are not used to seeing. So to help them adjust to the change more gradually, the conference room window will be covered. Additionally, a small box filled with pea stone will be placed on the ledge, to provide Hathor and Nick with nesting material.

Though it may be too late to hatch a nest this summer, implementing these changes will give Nick and Hathor time to adapt and have a better chance at a successful nest in 2018.

And it’s not all bad news: one of Hathor and Nick’s offspring, 2-year-old Peace, has been spotted with a mate in South Bend, Indiana! Peace and his mate, Maltese, hatched three healthy chicks just a few days ago. To see video and read more on their newly formed family, click here.

The circle of life can be unpredictable at times, but with so many dedicated people working together, Hathor and Nick are sure to continue building their ever-growing family next year.

Jenna Russell is an intern at the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. She is a senior at Oakland University.

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