The daily life of a wild peregrine falcon family in downtown Boise is once again on view via a web camera in the nest box.
This is the fifth year that the webcam has followed the daily activities at a nest box on the 14th floor of One Capital Center, 10th and Main streets. The webcam may be seen at: http://peregrinefund.org/webcam-peregrine.
The nest box has been used each spring since 2003. The ledge where the nest box is located simulates the high, steep cliffs the falcons use in the wild. The falcons, which eat other birds, prey on a plentiful supply of pigeons, mourning doves, starlings and other birds downtown.
Tis year, the first egg was laid April 1 and a fourth on Monday, April 8, and incubation has started.
Last year, the female laid the last egg on April 30. Hatching began on June 4, and the first flight from the nest occurred on July 13. The young birds stayed in the downtown area for several weeks to hone their flying and hunting skills under the watchful eyes of their parents.
Once an endangered species, the peregrine falcon was restored through the release of captive-bred young by The Peregrine Fund. It was removed from the endangered species list in 1999, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and individual states continue to monitor peregrine population numbers.
The falcon was removed from Idaho's list of endangered species in 2009. Like all birds of prey, the falcons remain protected by state and federal law.
Peregrines were essentially gone from Idaho by 1974. Starting in 1982, captive-bred falcons were released into the wild in Idaho and nearby states. In 1985, the raptors were again documented as a breeding species, and releases were discontinued. Eight falcons were released in downtown Boise in 1988 and 1989.
Today, there are about two dozen breeding pairs scattered around the state.
The web camera is sponsored by The Peregrine Fund, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Fiberpipe. The nest also can be viewed on monitors in the lobby of One Capital Center, courtesy of Oppenheimer Development Corp. and J.R. Simplot Co.