Peregrine Falcons | Melbourne CBD
A group of Peregrine Falcons considered to be the fastest bird in the world have been found nesting on a window ledge outside the Optus Centre in Melbourne's CBD.
Three years after poison claimed the last birds of prey to nest in the city, a pair of the falcons and three fluffy chicks have made a home for themselves 35 floors above Collins St.
Soaring through city skies, they feast on quail at the Altona wetlands, ducks swooped on at Albert Park lake, and screeching cockatoos dived on in the Royal Botanic Gardens, but the meal most often on their menu are pigeons, seized mid-flight.
The fastest animal on earth, a peregrine falcon dives on its prey at up to 320kmh.
Webcam: 367 Collins Street
Unifi Systems & Mirvac Real Estate
A pair of peregrine falcons, nesting on a ledge 33 floors up of 367 Collins Street building, welcomed three new chicks on Tuesday 2nd October 2018.
The falcons have become annual attractions and have gained popularity through a webcam, which live streams their nest to curious birdwatchers 24 hours a day.
Fastest bird on earth
Family time high above city street
The Age - THREE greyish fluff balls squawked beseechingly in the boardroom of a Collins Street office yesterday, displaying flagrant disregard for corporate etiquette.
But the peregrine falcon chicks, less than three weeks old, attracted an adoring audience despite their disruptive behaviour.
They were born in the Melbourne CBD's only known nesting site for the rare bird of prey, perched on a window ledge outside the Optus Centre's 35th floor.
According to Birds Australia, their birth signified a turnaround in fortunes for that particular site.
A previous pair of falcons who nested there in 2004 were killed, along with their two chicks, after eating illegally poisoned pigeons.
The nest was recolonised in 2005, but no new chicks had been born there until the threesome, two males and a female, arrived last month.
Victorian Peregrine Project co-ordinator Victor Hurley said the spot had first been discovered as a breeding site in 1991. It
had optimal conditions for starting a family.
"This nest is prime real estate," Mr Hurley said. "It probably has the right humidity, the right light and it is in the shade by 11am."
The peregrine falcon, the world's fastest bird, is listed as rare in Victoria.
Its fortunes improved worldwide after the pesticide DDT was banned in the 1970s.
The spray was responsible for thinning the species' egg shells, which resulted in many eggs being crushed as parents tried to incubate them.
The falcons that started their family high in the CBD this year are about four years old, Mr Hurley said.
"The young are about 17 days old, they will start flying in five to six weeks and start hunting their own prey two to three months after that."
Once the chicks are fully grown and able to fend for themselves, the parents will chase them out of the nest.
Mr Hurley yesterday captured the chicks and took them inside the Collins Street office to measure and tag them, so records can be kept of their age and where they were born.
Project volunteers monitor more than 100 peregrine sites scattered across the state.
"The bird is highly territorial so nesting sites are spread out," Mr Hurley said. "It is not unknown for them to kill each other in fights over nests."
Fastest bird on earth enjoys family time high above city street
October 19, 2007
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→ Victorian Peregrine Project
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