Peregrine Falcons and Their Nests

Peregrine falcons typically nest in cliff hollows or bare rocky outcrops with a bit of gravel on the floor for their nesting needs. They really don't build a nest. The falcons use existing natural elements for nesting purposes. They prefer their nest location to be elevated (peregrine falcons are known to nest on skyscrapers) and close to river valleys with a nearby food supply. And, it's the female who selects the nesting location!
The female pushes or forms a depression in the gravel with her feet. This is referred to as a scrape. She lays her eggs within the scrape so the eggs don't roll away from her or out of the nest. See video (no audio).
In our nesting box, we've placed pea gravel. Pea gravel is perfect for the falcons to use. It's easily moved by the female to form a scrape, and in case of rain, it drains very well.
In January this year, Jeff Meshach, director of the World Bird Sanctuary, climbed to the nesting box location at the Ameren Missouri Sioux Energy Center to inspect it and replace the old pea gravel with new. As Jeff was working, he noticed two peregrine falcons perched nearby. Jeff jokingly believes they were observing his work to make sure he completed it correctly. After all, the nesting box will be their family home for the next few months!
  falcon scraping

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