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UIC 'Falcon Cam' ready for action

March 29, 2012|By Leonor Vivanco, RedEye

Move over, Rosie O'Donnell. There may be another Rosie ready for her on-camera close up in Chicago.

There is a camera on the UIC campus that is trained on a spot where a falcon named Rosie has nested since 1998. Not unlike San Diego's SeaWorld Penguin Cam, the UIC Peregrine Falcon Cam is meant to catch the animal in its unbothered splendor.

It's early in the egg laying season, but Mary Hennen of the Field Museum's Bird Division is hoping to catch when the first egg is laid so she asked UIC to turn the webcam on. So far, no eggs are visible and there's no confirmation on the adult birds' identities, Hennen said in an email.

Falcons have been spotted moving around gravel on the ledge of southwest corner of the 28th floor of University Hall, which indicates they are preparing a nest for eggs, university publicist Paul Francuch said in an email. The camera, up since 2010, is aimed at the corner considered a safe spot for the chicks to hatch due to the minimal wind, he said.

The Peregrine Falcon, once an endangered species because of pesticide use, can dive as fast as 200 m.p.h. when hunting other birds as its prey. The local bird population is monitored by the Field Museum's Chicago Peregrine Program.

It may be too early to tell what is happening at UIC, Hennen said, but stay tuned. | @lvivanco

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