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Falcons Living On The Ledge At Transamerica Building Downtown

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A bird's eye view. That's what a group of peregrine falcons have at the Transamerica building downtown.

As Gigi Barnett explains, the falcons were once on the nation's endangered species list, but now bird watchers get to see them around-the-clock.

Through the blinds on the 30th floor at the Transamerica building in downtown Baltimore. That is as close as it gets to a peregrine falcon's nest that's more than 35 years in the making.

"They're very sensitive to disruption. So, they get very upset if you come into the proximity of their nest," said Joel Dunn, Chesapeake Conservancy executive director.

So bird watchers are going high-tech with this nest, with a hidden web camera installed by the Chesapeake Conservancy Group--an Annapolis-based nonprofit that seeks to protect the birds.

Between 1950 and 1970, the peregrine falcon was almost lost for good.

"Because of a chemical called DDT, which made their eggshells so thin that they couldn't reproduce," said Dunn.

So in 1977, a group of falconers worked to bring them back and soon released several around the country.

One of those birds landed on this ledge and never left. These are her descendants.

"There's about a 50 percent survival rate for the young. So, this is a real story that isn't necessarily scripted," said Dunn.

Over the years, the state's peregrine population usually choose to nest on man-made structures, like bridges and skyscrapers. Well now, the folks who enjoy watching them can get an around-the-clock, 24-hour view.

"I can't tell you how many pictures I've seen from employees, just saying, 'Hey, they're out there,'" said Kristy Huller, Transamerica spokeswoman.

So, to keep eager peregrine fans from getting too close, the company built a wall and allowed the webcam for all to see.

"It's special. It's not something you see every day," said Huller.

Unless, of course, you're watching from the falcon cam.

The webcam was installed about two weeks ago and launched on Tuesday. Since then, it's received hundreds of hits.

If you'd like to check out the falcon's nest, click here.

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