New Reality Show: Boise Web Cam Focuses on Peregrine Falcons
23 April 2009
A pair of Peregrine Falcons is incubating four eggs in a nest box in downtown Boise, and people can now observe the new falcon family via a live streaming web camera. The project is a cooperative effort by The Peregrine Fund and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, with camera and web hosting supplied by Fiberpipe.
Peregrine Falcons have used the nest box on the 14th floor of the One Capital Center Building, 10th and Main streets, to rear their offspring since 2003, but this is the first time the public has been able to observe their daily movements on the internet. The camera may be viewed via The Peregrine Fund website: http://www.peregrinefund.org/webcam2009.asp
Monitors have been installed in the lobby at One Capital Center, courtesy of Oppenheimer Development Corporation and J.R. Simplot Company, for passers-by to observe the birds.
The nest box is on a ledge that simulates the high, steep cliffs the falcons use in the wild. The eggs were laid between 10 April and 17 April. If all goes well, chicks will hatch in about a month.
Once an endangered species, the Peregrine Falcon was restored through the release of captive-bred young by The Peregrine Fund. The population had been decimated by DDT, a pesticide that thinned the eggshells of many types of raptors, including the Bald Eagle. The Peregrine Falcon was removed from the Endangered Species List in 1999 but population numbers continue to be monitored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and individual states.
The Peregrine Falcon is still categorized as endangered in Idaho and, like all birds of prey, remains fully protected by state and federal law. Peregrine Falcons were essentially gone from Idaho by 1974. Starting in 1982, captive-bred falcons were released into the wild in Idaho and nearby states. In 1985 the raptors were again documented as a breeding species and releases were discontinued. Eight falcons were released in downtown Boise in 1988 and 1989. Today, there are about two dozen breeding pairs scattered around the state.
Peregrine Falcons feed primarily on birds they catch in the air, using powerful speed (they are the fastest animals on earth) and maneuverability to pursue their prey. The falcons have adapted to cities where there is an abundant supply of pigeons and other birds.
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