Peregrine Falcons Won't Nest In Downtown Phoenix This Season

By Kerry Fehr-Snyder
Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 11:13am
Updated: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 11:35am
(Photo courtesy of Randy Babb - Arizona Game and Fish Department)
A peregrine falcon pair visited the nesting box in mid-February 2017.

The peregrine falcons of downtown Phoenix have flown the coop.

After years of setting up home in a specially designed nesting box, which is outfitted with a camera, the falcon pair have decided to roost elsewhere in downtown Phoenix.

“I am very sad to report that we will not have a peregrine cam to share this season,” Randy Babb, watchable wildlife manager for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, posted on Facebook. “The birds are nesting elsewhere downtown this year.”

The department was outfitting the falcon nesting box atop a Maricopa County building at Third Avenue and Washington Street with an air-conditioning unit. The cooling system was designed to prevent a chick, known as an eyass, from becoming too hot. Last season, the only chick to hatch fell out of the nest and later died in mid-May.

“I have been waiting in hopes that they would change their minds and use the nest box again this year, but it is now late enough in the season, [and] I am confident we won't be seeing them on our camera,” Babb wrote. “I am hopeful that they will return next year and we can again broadcast the nesting season.”

Officials have consulted with peregrine falcon experts to determine the best way to assure a successful breeding season, which usually begins in late March. Breeding pairs have been using the box on the county building for about a decade, but only two birds have ever survived to the age of fledgling.