Frodocam is live!

by Sep 14, 2004Other News

The plucky peregrine, who lives slap bang in the middle of Brisbane city, became the focus of a Courier-Mail webcam designed to give readers and insight into the breeding cycle of these unique and spectacular birds.

But Frodo didn’t come to our attention under the best of circumstances.

It was February and the fiery falcon had laid claim to the rooftop of one of Brisbane city’s most prestigious highrise apartment buildings and was ruffling a few feathers.

His fearsome and continual swoops on anyone who ventured on to “his” roof had brought maintenance work to a halt on top of the Admiralty Towers One building.

Frodo had become a health and safety issue.

Workers needed to access the roof to check exhaust – which extracts steamy air from some of the poshest bathrooms in town – but not one of them was willing to put a steel-capped toe out there unless they could be protected from the bird.

At first residents and workers believed Frodo was an osprey or sea eagle.

But when Courier-Mail photographer Nathan Richter snapped a photograph of the mystery dive-bomber on March 5 this year, ornithologist Roy Sonnenburg quickly identified him as a peregrine falcon – the fastest animal in the world, with a swoop speed in excess of 300km/h.

No wonder those workers were scared.

Some people were demanding the bird’s eviction, others welcomed this precious piece of nature into the concrete jungle of Brisbane’s inner city.

National Parks and Wildlife officers were called in to assess the situation and Environment Minister Dean Wells dubbed the city’s most popular high-flyer “Frodo”, in reference to the Lord of the Rings movies.

A compromise was reached, with workers protected by Wildlife rangers when they ventured on to the roof top.

Admiralty Towers One manager Leon Azar revealed Frodo and a lady friend had in fact been nesting on top of the building since 1999, with eggs usually laid in August.

Then stories rolled in about a couple of peregrine falcons who nested on a ledge at the Hilton Hotel in the 1990s, forcing the closure of a luxury suite until they had hatched their brood.

Experts speculated the couple may have been Frodo and his partner, with peregrine falcons known to alternate each year between several favoured nesting sites within a 1km radius.

Over the coming weeks our state-of-the-art webcam — which has been inspected and approved by Queensland National Parks and Wildlife officers — will continue to follow the birth of a clutch of city-dwelling peregrines.

To see Frodo and watch for any new hatchlings, click on the link below and find out all the latest news and information about this plucky little falcon. Remember that Australia is about 16 hours ahead of the USA for viewing the Frodocam live.


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