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WATCH: Two baby falcons emerge from shells at the Universite de Montreal

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Ornithologists, bird lovers, and followers of predators from the air have been soaring with intrigue and interest in the past weeks with falcon news.

Eyas emerge

On May 16, there was a stir.

Eve, the mother peregrine falcon whose residence is atop the 23rd floor of a tower on the University de Montreal (UdeM) campus, moves atop her eggs and pecks with her beak as the first of two eyas emerges from its shell in the early hours of Thursday.

A second falcon emerges from the other shell later in the day and they begin their life staring in a reality TV show livestreamed on YouTube for all to see.

A baby falcon is called an eyas.

"It's always exciting," said UdeM research associate Eve Belisle. "They're going to grow very fast and they're going to be able to fly at about 45 days of age. After that, they learn to fly and then they learn to hunt."

By the end of summer, Belisle said the young falcons should be able to hunt on their own and leave the nest.  

Eyas are white, puffy creatures with dark eyes and beaks that will shed their down coats for feathers in around three weeks.

Falcons, like almost every bird, have multiple collective nouns to describe the group. Caldrons, casts, soars, towers, bates, cadges, or rings of falcons are all used to describe a group.

Migration to the Mercier

A second caldron of peregrine falcons nest under the Honoré-Mercier Bridge in Kahnawake, Que. on Montreal's South Shore.

The eggs in that nest were transplanted from the Laviolette Bridge between Trois-Rivières and Saint-Gregoire due to construction work on the Laviolette jeopardizing a clutch.

"The pair of peregrine falcons nesting on the Laviolette Bridge had decided to nest in the southern section of the bridge, where most of the work will take place in 2024, despite the measures put in place to encourage them to adopt the northern section of the bridge," the Falcon Environmental Facebook post explains.

"Mitigation measures were put in place following their installation near the construction site, but the progress of the work would create disturbance impossible to mitigate effectively."

A peregrine falcon examines the four eggs in her clutch near the Honore-Mercier Bridge in Kahnawake, Que. (Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridge Inc. - JCCBI)
 
Teams worked with Transport Quebec and the Environment Ministry to move the eggs in collaboration with the Jacques Cartier & Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI), the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) and the Mohawk Bridge Consortium (MBC).

"The couple living on the Honoré-Mercier Bridge did not have a complete clutch, with only two eggs out of a potential of four," the post continues. "The development of their two eggs was checked and, unfortunately, they were not fertile. And so, the four eggs from Laviolette Bridge, in search of a new home, were adopted by the parents of the Honoré-Mercier Bridge."

That soar of falcons can also be followed live on YouTube.  

Belisle said there are about 15 breeding pairs of falcons in and around Montreal.

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