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Nature in the city

Marc Lefkowitz  |  11/14/07 @ 4:35pm

Life in the city during winter can be dreary. Reminders of nature are scant; so we thank Connecticut schoolteacher Deborah Mathies for the arrival of Raptors in the City, her creative nature education curriculum involving a pair of famous Clevelanders living on the 12th floor of the Terminal Tower.

Her "Falcon Flash" news bulletins are an intimate portrait of daily life for a pair of peregrine falcons-fastest creature on earth!-during nesting season, approximately late February into June. Mathies provides news, trivia and images from the FalconCam, which was started by local internet company APK Net in 1991, and is now maintained by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Each spring, the ritual renews as the couple prepares the scrape (nest box), procreates, sits on the eggs until they hatch, leads flight school (fledging), frenetic feeding sessions, and finally, the young ones leave the nest. It's like Cleveland's own "March of the Penguins" with an edge.

In the latest enews, Mathies states: Just 30 years ago, the species peregrine falcon had nearly become extinct in North America because of the use of a pesticide called "DDT". In 1999, the peregrine falcon was removed from the List of Endangered Species, one of the great success stories in the field of wildlife conservation!  The birds are still being monitored and helped by humans to make sure the species continues its recovery.

To see minute-by-minute images of the peregrine falcons on the Terminal Tower, visit the FalconCam. To receive FalconFlash news, email

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