Peregrine falcons in nest box with one egg
The female peregrine falcon stands near the egg she laid on April 4 while the male perches on the ledge of the Wood County Courthouse clock tower.

Falcon egg spotted in Wood County Courthouse clock tower nest

For the 13th year in a row, a pair of peregrine falcons has started its family near the home of the Falcons

It might be a little late in the semester, but the latest clutch of falcons is arriving near Bowling Green State University as the Wood County Courthouse clock tower is yet again the nesting ground for a pair of peregrine falcons.

This spring’s first egg was laid on Tuesday, April 4 at 12:21 a.m., marking the beginning of an exciting time for both new falcon watchers and those who have experienced the nesting activity at the courthouse for the last 13 years.   

The falcons' activity can be watched through Falcon Cam, a live-streaming service made possible by a partnership between the Wood County Commissioners and Bowling Green State University.

Peregrine falcons are known for their speed and courage, qualities that made them a fitting mascot for BGSU since 1950. The birds' appearance in the courthouse clock tower has become an annual event that draws the attention of bird lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. 

Peregrine falcons usually lay three to five eggs, and incubation is primarily done by the female, who is fed by the male during this period. A traditional nest isn't built; rather, the eggs are laid in a simple scrape, which is a depression with a few stones added.

Early on, viewers might not see the falcons sitting on the eggs all the time and can get glimpses of the brownish eggs. The falcons don't begin sitting on the eggs to incubate them until the female has laid the next-to-last egg.

Falcon egg laid in Wood County Courthouse clock tower on April 4, 2023
The first falcon egg was laid at 12:21 a.m. on April 4 in the Wood County Courthouse clock tower.

Once the eggs hatch, the female stays with the young falcons while the male brings food for both her and the chicks. Later, the female also joins in the hunting process. A falcon chick is also called an eyas; two or more are known as eyases. The eyases are voracious eaters. Within six days of hatching, they double their weight, and at three weeks generally are about 10 times their size at birth.

The first chick from last year's clutch hatched on May 16, and it is anticipated that the new eggs will hatch around the same time this year. The young falcons are expected to take their first flight between 39-49 days after hatching. 

Peregrine falcon male feeds female falcon
On March 29, the male peregrine falcon, left, is seen feeding the female.

The nesting of peregrine falcons in the courthouse clock tower is evidence of the resilience of these birds, which were once on the brink of extinction due to human activities that included the use of pesticides. However, conservation efforts have been successful in helping the birds make a comeback, and the nesting in the Wood County Courthouse is a testament to the success of these efforts. 

As the peregrine falcons continue to lay their eggs and raise their young in the courthouse clock tower, bird lovers will be watching with excitement, waiting for the young chicks to take their first flight and continue the cycle of life.

Female peregrine falcon stands next to an egg
The female falcon stands near the egg that was laid earlier on April 4. Peregrines usually lay between three to five eggs per clutch, but don't begin sitting on them to incubate them until they've laid their next to last egg.

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | | 419-372-6349

Updated: 04/05/2023 11:58AM