The Georgia Department of Natural Resources camera that follows Atlanta’s fastest-flying family is online again.
The camera at www.georgiawildlife.com/FalconCam is streaming live HD video of a pair of peregrine falcons nesting atop SunTrust Plaza. Although the adults switched nest sites twice this spring, delaying the project, viewers can now watch as the world’s fastest birds raise their young, a single eyas hatched about two weeks ago more than 50 stories above downtown Atlanta.
Also new this year, DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division and project partners are providing the video free of advertisements at www.georgiawildlife.com/FalconCam. The video stream is available, as well, on Ustream (www.ustream.tv/georgiawildlife), which includes ads but also features a chat option.
Jim Ozier, program manager with Wildlife Resources’ Nongame Conservation Section, said the nest cam offers a unique opportunity to witness the life history of these elusive and once rare raptors. But tune in soon: The eyas will fledge, or leave the nest, in about three weeks, Ozier said.
Peregrines have been nesting in balcony planters at SunTrust Plaza since 1997. Jeff Haidet is chairman of McKenna Long & Aldridge, an international law firm with offices overlooking the nest sites.
“Despite the fact that these urban falcons and their offspring face formidable odds, they survive and thrive,” Haidet said. “It’s a fascinating process to observe, and we’re always pleased to help support the DNR’s mission to bring the falcon nesting experience to the public.”
A streaming camera added last year and other upgrades then and this season were provided through a grant from The Environmental Resources Network (TERN), friends group of the Nongame Conservation Section, and key support from McKenna Long & Aldridge. The Garden Club of Georgia Inc. is also a project partner.
Peregrines are possibly the fastest animals in the world. Their stoops, or dives, used to catch pigeons, ducks and other 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.
What’s not so rare now is seeing up-close what nest life is like for one pair of Atlanta falcons.
Help conserve peregrines and other nongame wildlife, native plants and natural habitats through buying or renewing an eagle or hummingbird license plate, or contributing directly to the Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund. Both support DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section, which receives no state funds for its mission to conserve native wildlife not hunted, fished for, trapped or collected.
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Note: Although the video stream is available in HD, the quality viewers see is determined by their Internet connection speeds.