ATLANTA -- A new web camera operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources offers a fascinating look into a peregrine falcons nest more than 50 stories high in downtown Atlanta.
You can watch the camera at the bottom of this article.
The peregrines began nesting in early March and already have three eggs.
Jim Ozier, program manager with DNR's Nongame Conservation Section, said the web cam is "a wonderful opportunity for Georgians and wildlife enthusiasts around the world to witness in detail the life history of this once very rare and elusive species. It's great to be able to share and build upon this success story."
Peregrines have been nesting in balcony planters at SunTrust Plaza since 1997. An older camera provided lower-quality images of the nest until a few years ago.
The new camera and other upgrades were provided through a grant from The Environmental Resources Network (TERN), the friends group of DNR's Nongame Conservation Section, and key support from the international law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge, whose offices overlook the falcons nest, and the Garden Club of Georgia Inc. All three were also partners in the original camera project.
McKenna Long & Aldridge Chairman Jeff Haidet said observing the nesting and offspring of the peregrines each spring "is a reminder of just how extraordinary it is to have these two incredible birds of prey living in our midst in downtown Atlanta."
"And with this year's new, higher quality streaming webcam," Haidet added, "everybody can have almost as good a view of this fascinating process as I do."
Peregrines are possibly the fastest animals in the world. Their stoops, or dives, used to catch birds in flight have been clocked at more than 200 mph!
Peregrines were removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species because of a successful population recovery effort. Yet the birds are still state-listed as rare in Georgia.
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