Peregrine Falcon Chicks Receive Bands, Health Checks

The chicks will soon be able to fly, but for now remain under their mother's watchful eye.

The peregrine falcon chicks atop the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland have been banded.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission fit the 22-day-old birds with unique identification bands, then returned them to their nest box on the 40th floor.

The chicks were outfitted with red bands, which they'll wear for the rest of their lives.

The chicks were also given a quick health check up. Game Commission officials told KDKA that in another 21 days, the chicks should be able to fly.

The chicks also got a quick health checkup before they were returned to their nest.

The chicks' mother, Hope, laid five eggs in the nest this year, but two did not hatch. She actually ate the third chick as it hatching, and fed some it to the two other chicks. The National Aviary says infanticide in raptors is considered extremely rare, but may be a sign of food shortage.

Hope, the chicks' mother, kept a watchful eye on the chicks during the banding. She sat right outside the window.

Yesterday, Hope actually sat right outside the window while the birds were banded inside the Cathedral of Learning, keeping a close eye on her chicks.

You can click here to watch the Aviary's livestream of the nest box.

Photos courtesy The National Aviary and "Outside My Window" blog.

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