NETHERLANDS On April 21, three fluffy chicks were born to Nuon’s popular peregrine falcons atop the Hemweg power station in Amsterdam. The baby falcons will now be named, ringed and have 45 days to grow up and become the fastest animal in the world.

The baby falcons’ development can be followed via live webcam in the nest box, high up on the tall Hemweg building. Right now, the peregrine couple has intensive days providing food to their fast-growing chicks. For unclear reasons one of the chicks didn’t make it, but soon Amsterdam residents will get a unique chance to watch the two healthy chicks test their wings.

Obviously, leaving the nest at such a height can be dangerous and they need to master flying.

The falcon chicks are educated by their parents practicing their flying ability to eventually start chasing prey. However, a falcon only needs to practice a few times before it becomes the world's fastest bird, reaching over 300 km/h.

The chicks are fed until mid-August but the parents will gradually wind it down, so the youngsters will be stimulated to find their own food.

The public invited to name the chicks
While the chicks grow and build muscle, Nuon has invited everybody to name the two little falcons. Name suggestions have been submitted through Nuon’s social media channels. The person who has sent in the two winning names will be invited to attend the ringing process. This will be done on 11 May by a professional falconer and will take place before they fly away on their own.

The peregrine falcon was on the verge of extinction during the seventies due to various environmental pollutants, but the population has recovered since the toxins were banned. In 2003, Nuon’s Hemweg power station in Amsterdam was the first to have peregrine falcons with two chicks in its nesting box. Since then, there have been more nesting boxes on tall buildings in the city where peregrines could breed, such as the ABN AMRO Bank headquarters and the waste processing company AEB Amsterdam. On these three buildings, a total of ten eggs have been hatched. In the Hemweg nesting box, over twenty-five peregrine falcons have been born to date.

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