- Associated Press - Sunday, May 7, 2017

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Dubuque County has installed a camera to livestream footage of a pair of peregrine falcons that have returned to nest on a sixth-floor ledge of the courthouse.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife diversity program technician Pat Schlarbaum tells the Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/2pEwnse ) the birds of prey are one of nearly 20 nesting pairs in Iowa. They were once listed as an endangered species.

Schlarbaum said their nesting in Dubuque represents a “very special” moment.

“It shows that we can have previously endangered species recover,” Schlarbaum said.

Dubuque County staff are livestreaming footage of the nest on YouTube, which contains three red, potato-like eggs. The camera is located behind a window that looks out onto the ledge.

“One of the reasons why this is so amazing is they are literally two-and-a-half to three feet from the camera,” said Nathan Gilmore, the county’s IT superintendent.

The birds first nested at the courthouse in 2015, but high winds blew two eggs to the pavement. Staff installed a nesting box shortly after in the hope that the falcons would come back.

They returned in 2016 but didn’t nest.

“We kind of came to the conclusion there was too much activity,” said Brian Preston, executive director of the Dubuque County Conservation Board. “The maintenance crew. . at the courthouse put a tarp over the window this winter before the pair returned. . We really want to limit the amount of people that come in contact or any disturbance that could cause a failure in the nest.”

Preston expects that the eggs will hatch around Memorial Day and that the chicks will leave the nest 35 to 42 days later.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com


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