"Felicity," a name meaning great happiness, seems to fit Baltimore's newest peregrine falcon.
The falcon and her mate, Beauregard, are taking turns incubating three eggs in their nest on a 33rd-floor ledge of the United States Fidelity & Guaranty building at the Inner Harbor, a company official said today.
The eggs, expected to hatch by about June 6, mean a fresh start in the saga of the city's falcons, which have been raising young on the skyscraper since the late 1970s.
Beauregard's last mate, Blythe, was found dead April 20 on the roof of a city office building near the USF&G; building. The cause of her death is still unclear, although it appears she became immobilized and starved.
Felicity, whose name was suggested by fourth-graders at Fullerton Elementary School in Baltimore County, flew onto the scene in mid-March, about two weeks after Blythe disappeared.
"We are very, very happy to have eggs this late in the season," said John Barber, a USF&G; employee and unofficial falcon caretaker. "This cements [Felicity's] adoption of the USF&G; building as her nest site," he said.
"We don't know yet whether they are fertile," Mr. Barber said of the eggs. Felicity appears to be about a year old, he said, and first-year females often lay infertile eggs.
"We are keeping [Felicity] in almost complete isolation," Mr. Barber, a former Smithsonian Institution ornithologist. The falcon is skittish and the presence of anyone in the room that looks out XTC on the nest causes her to flee, he said.
Other peregrine pairs at the nest typically were incubating eggs by mid-March. The lateness of Felicity's eggs should not be a problem, Mr. Barber said.