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About the Libraries » News » Press Releases 2012 » Falcons Lift Off at UMass Amherst

Falcons Lift Off at UMass Amherst

Press Release: For Immediate Release
June 12, 2012
Contact: Carol Connare,




Amherst, Massachusetts – The three female peregrine falcon chicks which hatched last month on the roof of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst all successfully began flying over the weekend of June 9 and 10. They have been coming back to the box at night to be fed, but they will spend less and less time at the box over the next few days until they completely stop visiting it on a regular basis, according to Richard Nathhorst, Capital Projects Manager in Facilities Planning.

“They are in the flight school phase of their training, following the parents around campus begging for food, learning to fly and hunt for prey, and developing stamina,” said Nathhorst. Over the weekend, the father falcon urged his young out onto the roof ledge by offering them food. Not long after, they took their first flight.

Nathhorst also mentioned that this year the fledglings waited until they were fully grown before attempting to fly and, therefore, did not need to be brought back up to the nest after landing below.

Many interested observers have watched the progress of the chicks hatching, growing, feeding, and now flying, on the FalconCam: “For the last couple of weeks my English teacher has opened up the falcon cam and we have fondly watched the birds grow,” says Sebastian Stiles-Sieracki, a freshman at Amherst High School. “It’s a welcome break to see some nature during the long days.”

“The first year of the FalconCam has been a great success,” says Jay Schafer, Director of Libraries, “but we know that there are things we want to improve, and Library staff will work with Facilities Planning to make the experience even better for next year.”

Since the nest box was installed in 2003, the federally endangered peregrine falcons have been successfully reintroduced to western Massachusetts and 30 chicks have hatched and fledged from this site.

For information on the ancestry of falcons, visit:





Last Edited: 24 October 2012