Once pushed to the brink of extinction, the peregrine falcon has made a steady recovery in the United States. Once down to only a few pairs in Minnesota, peregrines have returned to Minnesota’s skies and their natural habitat, including Minnesota’s bluffs, cliffs and buildings.
Starting April 16, live video from a nesting pair of peregrine falcons in downtown St. Paul will be featured on the DNR’s website at:http://webcams.dnr.state.mn.us/falcon Last year, 2012, a video camera was installed in a nesting box at the top of the Bremer building, downtown St. Paul. With the help of Sentinel property management and the tenants at the Bremer building, the live video is now available for the public to view the box that has been in place since 1987. Peregrines first used this box in 1988 and have been raising young here ever since. The female has already laid one egg and will lay up to four more in the coming days.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to watch peregrines raise their young in an urban setting” said Carrol Henderson, Nongame Wildlife Program Supervisor. “It is exciting to watch the birds first-hand, in their normal habitat, without disturbing them”.
The peregrine camera was paid for by DNR’s Nongame Wildlife program, which is largely funded by donations, especially those made when Minnesotans file their state income and property taxes. The lines on the Minnesota income tax form and property tax form, marked with a drawing of a loon, give taxpayers the option to donate to the program, a feature often referred to as the “chickadee check-off.”
The Nongame Wildlife program works to protect and preserve more than 800 species of animals in the state that are not traditionally hunted or harvested. In addition to peregrine falcons, populations of species such as bald eagles, trumpeter swans, loons, and American white pelicans are directly benefited by contributions to the Nongame Wildlife check-off. Citizens can personally help Minnesota wildlife by donating on their tax forms, or donate directly online at mndnr.gov/nongame/checkoff.
Image courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources