Monday, April 21, 2014

DNR announces video-streaming peregrine falcon camera

Once pushed to the brink of extinction, peregrine falcons have returned to Minnesota’s skies and their natural habitat, including the state’s bluffs, cliffs and buildings, the Department of Natural Resources said. 

Live video from a nesting pair of peregrine falcons in downtown St. Paul is now featured on the DNR website at

The female has already laid four eggs and will incubate them for the next 30 or so days. Last year, the pair laid and incubated three eggs, but none of the eggs hatched.

Hopefully this year will be different.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to watch peregrines raise their young in an urban setting,” said Carrol Henderson, nongame wildlife program supervisor. “It is exciting to watch the birds first-hand, in their normal habitat, without disturbing them.”

A video camera was placed in a nesting box at the top of the Bremer building several years ago. Peregrines have been using the box and raising their young there since 1988, a year after the box was installed.

The peregrine camera was paid for by DNR’s nongame wildlife program, which is largely funded by donations, especially those made when Minnesotans file their state income and property taxes. The lines on the Minnesota income tax form and property tax form, marked with a drawing of a loon, give taxpayers the option to donate to the program, a feature often referred to as the “chickadee check-off.”

The nongame wildlife program works to protect and preserve more than 800 species of animals in the state that are not traditionally hunted or harvested. In addition to peregrine falcons, populations of species such as bald eagles, trumpeter swans, loons, and American white pelicans are directly benefited by contributions to the nongame wildlife check-off. People can help Minnesota wildlife by donating on their tax forms, or donate directly online at