Terminal Tower peregrine falcon chicks hatch

CLEVELAND -- Perched on Terminal Tower's 12th floor are the only residents of the swanky Greenbrier suite: a family of peregrine falcons.

"You can't help but root for them," said Harvey Webster, director of wildlife resources at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Proud parents of two newborns, anxiously waiting for their two other brothers or sisters to finally break out of their shells, too, but they're already Internet sensations thanks to a 24-hour camera set up by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

"You can't get involved. We have to let nature take its course," Webster said. "You can't interrupt that little family out there, so you just hope for the best."

Thousands of people hope and watch via Falcon Cam, which is broadcasting the family's every move online like a reality show for bird lovers. People from all over the world are captivated by these extraordinary birds, the fastest in the world.

"People are very attached to them," Webster said. "They clearly identify personalities with these birds, like 'They're good parents,' and 'They're good providers.' "

Even the manager of Terminal Tower is following the family after 13 years with same nest and female falcon calling the 12th floor home.

"I've learned a lot about the falcon. How it flies, how it hunts and to see it come back and feed its young, it's just an amazing thing," Terminal Tower manager Stephen Bir said.

Channel 3 News caught a rare glimpse of dinner time with Papa Falcon, known as Boomer. The mother, SW, keeps the chicks warm. Some worried if she would be able to breed this season after a bad injury last year, but Boomer nursed her back to health and now hopefully in a few weeks, the whole family will be flying high.

"This is a great wildlife drama that takes place right in our city and right over our heads here in Cleveland," Webster said.

Terminal Tower is proud that the falcons call it home.

"We're the heart of downtown, and this is just another feather in our cap," Bir said.

The falcon chicks will be banded by the Division of Wildlife in a few weeks.

The public should look out below, because the chicks will be testing their wings out soon, and that's not always a soaring success right away.

Terminal Tower has staff members trained to pick them up from the sidewalk and return them to the nest.


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