Falcon closeup from Falcon Cam

Falcon Season 2023

Adult falcon sitting on roof of Du Bois Library on November 13, 2023

by Lauren Weiss, Associate Editor, Digital Content

The season again saw UMass’s resident pair, 72/BV (“Cranberry”) and 45/BU (“Webster”), choose to nest in the Thompson Hall box. While only Cranberry and Webster can tell us for sure why they opted for Thompson over Du Bois, it’s likely due to the need for some modifications to the Du Bois box, which will be ready in time for next year’s nesting season.

The Du Bois Falcon Team wasted no time in setting up another backup camera from Floor 19 of the Library with a large telephoto lens locked on to the neighboring building’s rooftop, ensuring the nesting season would still be livestreamed to eager falcon fans across the world. Of the four eggs Cranberry laid this year, three hatched: a female and two males. The public voted to name the female Joanne, after the beloved “Omelette Lady” who serves students with a smile in Hampshire Dining Commons. The two males were named Swamy, after the outgoing chancellor, and Apollo, after the Greek god. All three fledged; however, in August, Joanne was discovered dead on the roof of Bartlett Hall as a result of a window collision. Unfortunately, window glare and reflections are common hazards for urban birds. As such, the Libraries have partnered with the UMass Amherst Bird-Windows Collisions Project. By collecting window-collision data across campus, the project aims to determine high-risk campus buildings and retrofit their windows with safety measures.

The campus community can contribute to the project at bit.ly/birdwindowsurvey or click on the QR code (right).

Additionally, if you would like to help birds in your own backyard, you can search online for removable decals that allow birds to recognize windows more easily.

QR code for bird window survey

More info: library.umass.edu/falcons

Life on Land icon from Sustainable Development Goals