Peregrine falcon nest-cam a reminder of the highs and lows of parenting life - petsitterbank

Peregrine falcon nest-cam a reminder of the highs and lows of parenting life

This ghastly endless winter of couch sitting, only two shows made it onto my appointment-viewing list. Both were brutal, edge-of-your-seat stuff involving unconventional parenting, suspected murder, family drama and – in almost the final scene – heartbreaking death.

One what ozark (can recommend, unless you’re triggered by casual use of crematoriums.) The other was the webcam live stream of Melbourne’s famous peregrine falcons. It was fabulous. Raw, unpredictable. But more than giving a front-row seat to nature’s circle of life, the birds tapped into our latest divisive hot button topic: empty nesting.

New hatchlings having their first feed. Credit:Peregrine Falcons Live Stream

Yep, empty nesting is the new perimenopause. Bring it up at your next dinner party. Half your friends will produce party whistles and brochures for a 28-day tour of Jordan and Egypt, others will be thinking, “what will we talk about when the kids go?” Everyone will have an opinion.

In Australia, 10 per cent of households are made up of older adults who are childless or whose children have left home. And while more than half of us are rapt to hit the milestone, according to the 2018 Empty Nesters Report, 41.1 per cent are also sad. The grievers are mostly women – dads are the ones gleefully dismantling bunks and beetling down to Dan Murphy’s.

The cautionary tale of getting together, setting up the nursery, welcoming the blessed offspring then shoving them out of the nest so you can get on with “yes, finally me time” is what captured my imagination with the falcons.


To recap for those not yet gripped by birds faffing around on a windswept ledge, a pair of the rare falcons has nested on the rooftop of 367 Collins St since 1991. The webcam was set up in 2016, and now the breeding city birds are seasonal cult figures with a social media following of about 40,000.

This year the plot revolved around the contemporary theme of blended families. Early doors, the chicks’ biological father – known as Dive Bomb Dave – was ousted and presumably killed by a love rival. The second male was so green he tried to feed the unhatched eggs before growing into his dad role when four chicks hatched in late September.

Finally, one shivering chick was left as its siblings flew off. Then it fledged too, at 7.12am Tuesday. Armchair human parents were thrilled. Job done! Then, heartbreak. One baby was found on the footpath below, dying of injuries probably caused by a collision. The webcam was turned off, the audience split between its pride that three of the babies were hanging in and grief that a little life we ​​cheered on ended so soon.

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