Downtown Richmond’s rare falcons produced three eggs, but they will tend just two chicks.
Two of the eggs hatched last week. So much time has passed since then, however, that it’s clear the third egg won’t hatch, said Sergio Harding, a biologist with the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
The peregrine falcons, known as Ozzie and Harriet, are nesting on a 21st-story walkway at Riverfront Plaza by the James River. They have developed a following on the Richmond Falcon Cam, run by the game department.
It’s not clear why the third egg didn’t hatch. Last week’s cool, wet weather may have been a factor, Harding said. Or some sort of contamination — perhaps lead or pesticides — could have gotten into prey birds that Harriet ate. Or the egg could simply be infertile.
“It’s not uncommon for eggs not to hatch,” Harding said.
One egg hatched Wednesday afternoon. The other egg hatched either that morning or the previous night.
The chicks are growing and appear to be healthy, Harding said.
If the chicks continue to mature, game officials next month will hold a “fledge watch,” in which people on the ground will try to keep the youngsters from getting into traffic or other trouble when they make their first flights.
You can see the Richmond Falcon Cam at falconcam.tumblr.com.