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About This Peregrine Falcon Cam
In 2015, Chesapeake Conservancy launched this peregrine falcon cam on the 33rd floor of the Transamerica building in downtown Baltimore. We welcomed explore.org to the partnership in 2017. This cam features “Boh & Barb,” named in honor of retired U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and Baltimore’s favorite “Natty Boh.”
They are descendants of peregrines released by The Peregrine Fund in the 1970s who first made their home on this very ledge. Peregrine’s natural habitat is the side of cliffs, and they incubate their eggs in scrapes, or indentations in sand or gravel.
Many peregrine migrate, but not Boh & Barb due to the plentiful food sources that living in downtown Baltimore provides.
Viewers will see Boh & Barb return from their hunts with food, beautiful landings over the Baltimore skyline, the eggs hatch, and the eyasses develop and fledge.
The survival rate for peregrines is 50% the first few years. The cam is a unique way to watch these beautiful birds of prey in their home, but of course that is not always easy for humans to watch.
These are interesting neighbors for the occupants of the skyscraper who will often see feathers floating by their windows from above after Boh & Barb have returned with prey from their hunts.
The 2020 season began earlier than expected with Barb laying her first egg in the early hours of March 7. Barb laid her next egg two days later around 10:36am on March 9. On March 12 around 7am, Barb laid her third egg and laid her fourth egg on March 14 at 12:45pm. After a month of incubation, 3 eggs hatched on the morning of April 15 following pips and signs of hatching on April 14. Unfortunately, the 4th egg was non-viable.
After a month of growth, the three eyasses began to fledge during the last week of May. After continuing strengthen their wings, the three eyasses began to leave the nest for longer periods of time. By mid-June, the eyasses left the nest, and only made infrequent appearances thereafter. Following the departure of their offpsring, Barb and Boh continued to make good use of the nest, and weathered Tropical Storm Isais, which hit the region in early-August. In an interesting development, the remaining non-viable egg partially exploded on August 9. However, we can’t explain for certain why this occurred, nature is fascinating!
There have also been other Peregrine Falcons spotted on or near the nest throughout August. Many of these visitors appear to be juveniles and may be their offspring from this year, but we can’t confirm this.
The eventful season officially began when Barb laid her first egg on the morning of March 20, followed by the second on March 22, the third on March 24 (or 25), and the fourth on March 27.
Around April 18, one of the eggs was removed from the cluster, likely as Barb may have known that it was non-viable.
In late April, Boh disappeared from the nest for unknown reasons, and a new male peregrine falcon began to court Barb and bring her prey. Cam viewers called this male peregrine, “Nubo.” We do not know what happened to original Boh, but for purposes of promotion of this cam, the Peregrine Falcon couple is still called “Barb & Boh.”
The first egg hatched on April 28, and the second egg hatched April 29. Unfortunately, the third egg was also non-viable.
On June 5, 2019, one of the eyasses was found on the ground outside the Transamerica building. Thankfully the eyas was not injured, but had not yet learned to fly well enough to get back to the scrape. Chris Pullen, associate property manager with Corporate Office Properties Trust, worked with guidance from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Office and the Chesapeake Conservancy and safely captured the eyas in a box. A former Chesapeake Conservancy employee, Patrick Smith, who works nearby at Pride II, also assisted in the rescue effort.
The eyas was checked out and rehydrated by USFWS and returned to the scrape on June 6, 2019. Read more about this spectacle in the Baltimore Sun. Following an annual, public bird-naming contest, the two falcon eyasses were named on July 12. The male falcon chick was named Zephyr, while the female falcon chick was named Sky. Shortly after, the two birds left the nest to live their own lives.
We hope you enjoyed watching Barb and Boh care for the two eyasses on the 33rd floor of the Transamerica building in beautiful downtown Baltimore! Barb & Boh has continued to use the nest and can still be spotted on the camera at various points throughout the day. Thank you for your viewership and we’re hopeful for another exciting season in 2020!
Our season began with Boh & Barb’s first egg, which was laid at 6:55 a.m. March 19, 2018. The second egg came along at 4:56 p.m. on March 21. We woke up to the third egg on March 24, which Barb had laid during the night hours. She laid the fourth egg on March 26, at 11:36 a.m.
They hatched on April 26 2:04 p.m., April 26 at 7:14 p.m., and April 28 before 6 a.m., and April 30 (out of cam view). In a public vote, the four chicks were named Scout, Squirt, Kalani, and Wally. The chicks were banded by a USFW Raptor Biologist on May 25. The falcon juveniles began to fledge on June 6 and by June 21, they were airborne!
On August 1, two peregrine falcons were spotted in downtown Richmond, including a new banded juvenile female from Baltimore, Maryland. The new female falcon perched by the windows of the Department of Conservation & Recreation’s (DCR) office where a few observers were able to capture photos of the bird and get a read on her bands, helping Department of Game and Inland Fisheries(DGIF) to track down her identity. As it turns out it was Kalani! Her black and green bands are numbered 93 and AK, respectively. Her silver USGS band number is 1907-03424. Catching a glimpse of one of our native falcons in Richmond is an example of how connected our watershed and wildlife are. Photo courtesy of DCR. Read more about Kalani’s visit to Richmond.
The last confirmed sighting of a juvenile falcon in the nest was August 8. Since then Boh and Barb have continued to use the nest. Often they can be seen in the early morning hours. We are looking forward to 2019 and hopeful for another amazing falcon camera season! Stay tuned for updates in the spring.
Thanks for watching!
The season started with four healthy eyasses in the nest. USFWS Raptor Biologist Craig Koppie has determined that three of the eyases were female and the smallest one a male. The weekend of June 3-4, 2017 was a tough one for the eyasses who had all fledged. One was discovered deceased on the 28th floor window ledge by a Transamerica building employee. Two others were found alive on the ground. One was rescued from the median by the building by a good samaritan and is with the raptor rescue group, Owl Moon Rescue. The other wound up in the good care of caretakers at the Maryland Zoo.
This year Boh and Barb had another amazing nesting season up on the Transamerica Building in downtown Baltimore. During the Falcon Cam’s second year, Boh and Barb laid four eggs, successfully hatching all of them. However, sadly one of the baby falcons did not survive long after hatching. The rest of the falcons fledged, and started to learn how to survive on their own. Shortly after fledging, a vigilant Transamerica employee informed the Chesapeake Conservancy that one of the falcons had flown into the building. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Raptor Biologist Craig Koppie temporarily removed the eyas and took it to a rehab facility. On June 16 at around 4pm, Koppie successfully released the eyas back into the nest.
In July, many names were voted on for the three falcons but the winners were Charlie, Pauli, and Pratt, named after the streets below the Transamerica Building. Not long after, all three of the birds left the nest to live on their own.
Special thanks to Transamerica, Skyline Technology Solutions, Cogent Communications, Shared Earth Foundation, the City of Baltimore, and 100 Light Street for making the peregrine falcon cam possible.
About Peregrine Falcons:
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. Scarlett, the building’s first falcon, was released by the Peregrine Fund at the Edgewood Arsenal area on the Chesapeake Bay in 1977 as part of this effort. 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 St 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.
Learn more about the peregrine falcon with our frequently asked questions and fun facts, explore our National Wildlife Refuge App, or visit one of our regions many national and state parks and refuges to see them in the wild!
If you enjoy our Peregrine Falcon Cam, please consider donating to the Chesapeake Conservancy to help us in our efforts to protect their Chesapeake habitat.
Click on the links below to view historical records and learn more about the peregrine falcons at 100 Light Street. Note: With the departure of USF&G from the building in the mid-1990s, records on the falcon family ended until the Chesapeake Conservancy’s cam went live in 2015.
- 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