A live webcam has been placed in a peregrine falcon box that is located in the Bremer Bank building in downtown St. Paul, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR).
You can view the falcons at www.dnr.state.mn.us/features/webcams/peregrine.html.
“We are very excited to provide this webcam, which allows the public a close-up view into the lives of these incredible birds,” Carrol Henderson, supervisor of the Nongame Wildlife Program said in a press release. Henderson is in charge of the falcon project.
The DNR with cooperation from the Midwest Peregrine Society, the business tenants in Town Square, and Sentinel Properties, set up the camera to monitor the nest of a pair of peregrine falcons and their three young chicks.
According to the release, the chicks hatched May 13-14 and will stay in the box, dependent on their parents, until late June or early July.
The box is about 4 feet by 4 feet and is located 26 stories up. Peregrines do not “build” a nest, so pebbles were placed in the box to create a natural habitat.
The peregrine falcon is the fastest animal in the world, stooping (chasing prey) at speeds in excess of 200 miles-per-hour. They are a little larger than a crow, weighing about 1-2 pounds. The females are one-third larger than the males. They are mostly a slate blue color as adults, with a distinctive “hooded” appearance and a stripe that comes down from the cap. Young peregrines are brown in color with many stripes or barring on the chest.
DDT and related chemicals had a devastating effect on peregrine falcons and many other species in the 1950s and 60s. DDT and its residues, accumulated through food chains, impaired reproduction of many birds by causing the bird’s eggs to become so thin that they were crushed under the weight of the mother incubating them. Chemicals extirpated some populations and raised the threat of the species extinction.
Use of DDT was effectively banned in the United States in 1972 making it possible for peregrine recovery work to begin. In 1984 the peregrine falcon was placed on the endangered species list. “This is truly a story of success because today, we have more than 60 unique territories in Minnesota and 39 pairs successfully raised 119 chicks,” Henderson said in the release.
More information about peregrine falcons in Minnesota is available atwww.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/projects/peregrine.html. More information about the Midwest Peregrine Society is available at www.midwestperegrine.org. Those interested in donating to the DNR’s Nongame Wildlife Program can do so by visiting www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/checkoff.html.