A live webcam captured the moment Annie and Lou, a pair of peregrine falcons nesting atop a bell tower at the University of California (UC) in Berkeley, welcomed the first of four hatchlings on Monday, April 10.
The footage shows mother bird Annie sitting over her eggs as one of them begins to show cracks. Over 20 minutes, cracks in the egg widen and a tiny chick emerges.
Cal Falcons, a group of scientists at UC Berkeley that monitors the birds, said a celebratory Hatch Day event would be held on Tuesday.
Falcons were nearly wiped out in the western United States by the 1970s but began making a comeback in recent years following a federal ban on the insecticide called DDT, according to Cal Falcons.
“In December 2016, we first observed two peregrine falcons setting up a territory centered on the historic Campanile at UC Berkeley. After finding a makeshift nest on a sandbag in March 2017, we installed a temporary nest box to encourage a successful nesting effort,” Cal Falcons said.
Credit: Cal Falcons via Storyful