Chesapeake Conservancy Announces New Peregrine Falcon Webcam
Public Invited to View Famous Nesting Site in Downtown Baltimore
Annapolis, MD – The Chesapeake Conservancy today announced the launch of its latest wildlife webcam featuring downtown Baltimore’s famous peregrine falcons. Located on the 33rd-floor ledge of the Transamerica skyscraper at 100 Light Street in downtown Baltimore, the live stream will bring viewers up close and personal with these long-term Baltimore City residents that have been living near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for more than 35 years.
The public may view the peregrine falcon webcam at http://www.chesapeakeconservancy.org/peregrine-falcon-webcam. The Chesapeake Conservancy’s osprey cam will also be available soon. The ospreys’ nesting platform was damaged during a recent winter storm and is being repaired.
“Our popular osprey cam had thousands of followers from all over the world. Now, we’re very excited to bring the wonder of these majestic peregrine falcons to the public,” Joel Dunn, executive director of the Chesapeake Conservancy, said. “On behalf of the Chesapeake Conservancy, I’d like to thank Skyline Technology Solutions, Cogent Communications, Shared Earth Foundation, the City of Baltimore, Transamerica, and 100 Light Street for making the peregrine falcon cam possible.”
“Many people know Baltimore for our Ravens, but few realize that peregrine falcons have been living on the ledge of one of our most iconic skyscrapers for decades,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said. “Our City is a key part of one of the greatest stories of environmental conservation in American history, that being the reintroduction of these birds from the brink of extinction. It is also an amazing story of harmony between people, urban environments and wildlife. Thank you, Chesapeake Conservancy, for highlighting what a great place Baltimore is to call home.”
Found on every continent except Antarctica, peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) are one of the best-known conservation success stories and are believed to be the fastest bird in the world, traveling up to 200 mph during hunts. These amazing birds have recovered from near eradication in eastern North America, now making many large cities and coastal areas their homes.
After a drastic population decline from 1950-1970 due to pesticide poisoning, peregrine populations have rebounded due to a large-scale captive breeding and release program. As part of this effort, Scarlett, the building’s first falcon, was released by the Peregrine Fund at the Edgewood Arsenal area on the Chesapeake Bay in 1977.
Her first successful mating in 1984 with a wild peregrine, later named Beauregard, produced the first natural-born peregrines bred in an urban environment on the East Coast in three decades. Now, peregrine falcons are pervasive throughout the U.S., nesting on skyscrapers, water towers, cliffs, and more.
Maryland’s restored peregrines have preferred man-made structures, like the 100 Light Street skyscraper, to make their nest in the region. Structures like the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Francis Scott Key Bridge, and Route 301 Potomac River Bridge have been known to have nesting peregrines as well.
Because peregrines prey on other birds, they are particularly susceptible to changes in the health of the surrounding environment. There is potential for a tremendous amount of bioaccumulation of chemicals in their bodies, threatening the health and productivity of any future offspring. To make sure this charismatic bird continues to thrive, we are working to ensure that river corridors remain protected and that the Chesapeake Bay can support abundant fish and smaller bird populations.
Click on the links below to view historical records and learn more about the peregrine falcons at 100 Light Street. Please note that with the departure of USF&G from the building in the mid-1990s, records on the falcon family ended.
- Baltimore Sun, Falcon will be a dad for 14th time
- Baltimore Sun, Beauregard, fifth mate due to hatch baby falcons
- Unknown, Falcon adopts skyscraper
- News American, Rare falcon a pet topic among USF&G admirers
In addition to the peregrine falcon cam, the Chesapeake Conservancy also works closely with the City of Baltimore on the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Initiative, spearheaded by the Chesapeake Bay Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The Greater Baltimore Wilderness Initiative works to create a resilient network of parks and open spaces in Maryland and D.C.’s urban areas.
Complementing the Baltimore Wilderness Initiative, the Chesapeake Conservancy also partners with USFWS on the Mamie Parker Journey:Inspiring Youth to Embrace the Chesapeake speaker series. The goal of this series is to engage students in the Baltimore area and encourage them to experience the Chesapeake Bay watershed through facilities such as the Masonville Cove Urban Wildlife Refuge. In speaking to students across the city, Mamie also hopes to expose them to career options in environmental science and environmental studies.