ROCKFORD (WREX) — The anticipation grows as two Peregrine Falcons in Rockford attend to their eggs. A live webcam is set up on the top of the Rockford Register Star news tower to catch the moment these eggs hatch.
The live camera has attracted the attention of hundreds and a local non-profit hopes it inspires others to protect the wildlife found in our own backyard.
Birdwatching is a pastime for many, but this year it has gained a new appreciation.
"The past year there has been a huge interest and I don't know if that's because of COVID," said Sinnissippi Audubon Society President Jennifer Kuroda. "'Here's something you can do within your home and watch.'"
Louise is a Peregrine Falcon who first took flight in Canada in 2016. She found a home in Rockford in 2018 on top of the Rockford Register Star news tower.
"This is the third male for her and this will be her fourth year to lay eggs up there. It's actually a gutter or drainage channel of the building; it's not even somewhere where you would expect," said Kuroda.
It's a rare sight to see according to the Sinnissippi Audubon Society who says many birds of prey including the Peregrine Falcon used to be on the federal and Illinois endangered species lists in the 1970's.
After decades of breeding and releasing work, these creatures are now threatened but protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
"We have people that follow the camera from all over the world," said Kuroda.
Louise and her mate Brian take turns watching and sitting on their five eggs. They are the only Peregrine Falcon pair in Winnebago County and the activity is leaving live fans waiting in anticipation.
"I have the Nest cam app on my phone so every time there is a movement or a sound it buzzes and gives me an alert. I think I have a little bit of an addiction problem," said Kuroda.
Kuroda hopes as people tune in to watch Louise, they will recognize the need to preserve habitats and wildlife.
"Making sure the ones that do hatch, we have pledge watch every year so when they get ready to fly and they have their flight feathers, we are down on State Street making sure they don't land in the middle of the street or have an accident," said Kuroda.
Helping wildlife stay alive and active in our own backyard.
Kuroda says Louise's eggs are expected to hatch in the beginning of May. To watch the live Nest webcam and learn more about Peregrine Falcons click here.
The Sinnissippi Audubon Society is hosting an event this weekend to count cranes in Winnebago County, to learn more click here.
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara declared the Peregrine Falcon as the official bird in the City in Rockford in July of 2020.