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Minn. DNR launches peregrine falcon webcam, chicks coming soon

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For several years, peregrine falcons have been raising their young on the top of the Bremer Bank Building in downtown St. Paul. Now, the public can watch the majestic birds in their nesting box as a couple prepares for chicks.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Nongame Wildlife Program's live video stream offers a rare perspective of the falcons in an urban setting.

A nesting box was placed on the east side of the building by the DNR in 1987.

Since 1988, several pairs of falcons have chosen the site as their home, producing 65 chicks through 2012.

Photo: Baby falcons are called eyasses. They are covered with white down which is replaced with feathers at about 3 weeks of age.

Last year was the 9th year that "Jill" and "Sota" occupied the site. The DNR says 17-year-old Sota has not been seen this season, but Jill has returned with a new mate.

Jill has already laid three eggs and could lay up to two more in the coming days. The chicks should hatch close to Memorial Day weekend.

The DNR says peregrine falcons were once on the brink of extinction, but the cooperative efforts of several animal groups in Minnesota have played an important role in restoring peregrine populations.

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