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Peregrine falcons on R.I.’s tallest building have hatched. Take a look

Four eggs were laid in the nest at the top of the Superman building in Providence this year, and bird enthusiasts have been watching them hatch via livestream.

A peregrine falcon with eggs and chicks atop the Superman building in Providence. The 2021 brood started hatching on Saturday, May 8.
A peregrine falcon with eggs and chicks atop the Superman building in Providence. The 2021 brood started hatching on Saturday, May 8.Peter Green

PROVIDENCE — All four peregrine falcon eggs on top of Rhode Island’s tallest building have now hatched as bird enthusiasts watched via livestream.

“HAPPY HATCH DAY!” the Audubon Society of Rhode Island tweeted at 10:17 a.m. Saturday after the first young bird poked its way out of its shell. “The first #ProvidencePeregrine is here!”

The first hatchling arrived “sometime this morning or overnight,” the R.I. Audubon Society reported on their livestream page. The mother falcon was eating the egg shell (for calcium) after the first hatchling peeked out from a platform on the Superman building in downtown Providence.

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At about 10:25 a.m., the second hatchling arrived.

And a third egg hatched early in the morning on Mother’s Day.

The fourth came on Tuesday morning. With morning light breaking over the city, a viewer caught a photo of the two peregrine parents feeding the four young birds.

The first fluffy white hatchling was sitting under the mother at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday. “Although only three of the four eggs have hatched so far, the parents are already working around the clock to provide enough food for the eyases. They will double in weight in the first week alone!” the R.I. Audubon Society reported.

Once listed as an endangered species, the peregrine falcon rebounded after the pesticide DDT, which weakened its eggs, was banned. The peregrine falcon was removed from the list in 1999 and is now listed as a species of least concern. They started nesting in a box on the Superman building — also known as called the Industrial National Bank Building at 111 Westminster St. — a year later. The camera was set up in 2010. Since 2000, 61 peregrines have hatched. Once they do, the viewership can go from nothing to tens of thousands.

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“Every year, it’s a celebration that peregrines are coming back,” said Jeff Hall, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s senior director of advancement.

“They’re just amazing to watch,” said Peter Green, an author, urban wildlife photographer, and downtown Providence resident and perhaps the most dedicated peregrine-watcher in the state.

Green is the author of a book called “Providence Raptors,” a book featuring his photography and observations about the peregrine falcons and various other birds of prey in downtown Providence.

As they’re going on with their daily lives, people can miss some incredible scenes that would be the climactic act of any nature documentary. A wood duck peeking out from a tree in the city. A falcon and a hawk in aerial battle. A falcon, nostrils closed to prevent a disabling inrush of air, swopping down, the fastest animal in the world.

“They’re so perfect at what they do,” Green told the Globe on Wednesday. “They’re so streamlined.”

The eggs were laid about a month ago, a few days apart. Not all always survive, but those that do will add to a population that’s been pulled back from the threat of extinction.

“New life hatching — it’s just amazing to see it,” Green said. “Somehow new life comes out.”


Brian Amaral can be reached at brian.amaral@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bamaral44.