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World’s fastest animal now making its home at Spartan Stadium

These new parents sometimes clock in at 200 miles per hour.
World’s fastest animal now making its home at Spartan Stadium
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 5:26 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - At the top of Spartan Stadium sits a nest that two new parents currently call home.

It’s nesting news that is giving MSU bird experts something to crow about. That’s because, if you do have the chance to see them in the wild; You’re considered lucky.

These birds are peregrine falcons, the fastest animals in the entire world. They can sometimes clock in at 200 miles per hour.

Under normal conditions you could blink and miss them, but up on the rooftop of Spartan Stadium a webcam gives a birds eye view into the lives of a growing peregrine falcon family.

You can watch them live thanks to a YouTube stream set up by Michigan State University. Moving in just two weeks ago, these two love birds already have some egg-citing news. Evan Griffis is an MSU student and chair of the MSU Fisheries and Wildlife club.

“They do take turns incubating at the nest, so you’ll see them switch on and off,” Griffis said.

Tuesday night mama bird welcomed her first egg. Griffis says that’s a big deal, because the species is still endangered in the state of Michigan.

Update: Falcon family at Spartan Stadium welcomes third egg

“We weren’t sure that they would take to the box right away,” Griffis said. “It can often take several years for birds to get accustomed to a new nest site.”

But the falcons’ love story doesn’t start here. These two have history, and they’ve been in the market for a nest for quite some time.

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Griffis said, “We noticed a pair of peregrine that have been hanging around the stadium for the past five years.”

That’s when the club decided to build the pair their very own crib, mimicking a cliff nest.

“Being a state endangered species, we were really interested in them and we wanted to provide a safe nest site which is why we put this box on the roof,” Griffis said.

Griffis says their goal was to provide a safe nest area and preserve conservation for their species. “So they do remain endangered in the state of Michigan,” he said. “But we’re hoping, with projects like this, we can get them off that list.”

Griffis’s love for birds grew in 2013 at his home back in the upper peninsula. Griffis says it will help the birds as well as students like himself.

“Specifically for me, my interest is birds,” Griffis said. “So that goes right along with this project.”

That’s why he says he was blown away when the couple took to the nest.

“It started out with the male bird visiting the nest and kind of checking it out. And then, after a few days, the roles reversed and then the female began spending a lot of time at the nest.”

So far they have one egg, but the club hopes there’s more on the way. As for the happy couple, they seem to be all nestled in. You can keep up with the birds on the MSU Fisheries and Wildlife’s live webcam. That stream is embedded below.

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