Pair of peregrines proudly protecting nest with four eggs high above Hopewell Rocks
HOPEWELL CAPE, N.B. -- Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park opens to the public on May 21, but when visitors arrive, they'll take in more than just the historic rock formations.
Park goers can expect to see a few new feathered friends as well.
Perched high in the cliffs of Hopewell Rocks sits a nest full of eggs and excitement.
Kevin Snair, the public relations and marketing coordinator for Hopewell Rocks, recalls his reaction to watching the nest cam earlier this spring.
"There's eggs there! There's three eggs there!" he said. "And then, upon closer inspection when I watched the video back and put it in slow motion, she bumps one of the eggs and I can see a fourth one in behind, and its like 'sweet! Theres four!!'"
The eggs belong to a pair of peregrine falcons, and while the species has called the park home for more than a decade, sightings of the birds of prey are still quite rare.
"Back in the 60s and 70s they were locally extinct," Snair said. "None -- none at all in Atlantic Canada."
The birds were only just taken off the endangered species list roughly three years ago, but are still designated as "special concern."
"These are still a super important bird in our whole ecosystem, so it's so important that our guests understand how unique an experience this is to come down and see them," Snair said.
Snair says this is a critical time for the falcons with all of their energy going into protecting their young, so when the park opens to the public later this month, visitors are asked to keep their voices down and distractions to a minimum.
"It’s always a dilemma whether you just close the whole area off, but we see this as a teaching moment where people can learn proper etiquette of viewing and enjoying these birds."
Peregrine’s are known as not only the fastest bird in the world, but they also hold the title as the fastest member of the entire animal kingdom
"When they dive at their prey, they can reach speeds of 386 kilometres an hour, so to witness that happen is incredible.
Snair is waiting patiently for the eggs to hatch and he expects to see baby beaks by the end of next week.