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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Olympia's own peregrine fledglings.

Perched 175 ft high above Budd Bay on a gantry crane sits a nesting box for a peregrine falcon and her  four fledglings. This years flock marks the 11th year the perigrine couple has chosen the Star crane as their birthing room. When the first nest appeared in 2004 the eggs were jostled and failed to hatch. The Department of Fish and Wildlife installed a nexting box in 2005 and since then the number of fledglings has produced several survivors. 

Dingey's Seafood at the Olympia farmer's market has set up a viewing station just behind their vendor stall, bordering the market parking lot. A telescope pointed directly at the nesting box sits beneath their red and white umbrella shielding birdwatchers from sun and rain. 

Every year the birds are banded for tracking purposes. The Department of Fish and Wildlife monitors several pairs throughout the state. Several have taken up residence in urban areas on bridges and high-rise ledges. 

Peregrines were endangered a number of years ago due to pesticide poisoning. They have since graduated from threats of extinction and their population has increased for the past few years. Peregrines are the world's fastest birds known to capture their prey, mainly other birds, mid-flight. 

This year's article in the Daily Olympian

Westlake Drive offers a clear, though somewhat distant view of the cranes and nest. 

Dingey's also has a rubber duck collection. Drop yours in the orange bucket to grow the collection.  More importantly, there is also a donation bucket sitting just to the right of the telescope. Drop in a few coins or bills to help defray the cost of the telescope and to  show your appreciation for their interest in public environmental education.

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