Washington, May 25 : A webcam at San Jose City Hall that are providing live videos of how a pair of falcons is raising three healthy chicks in a nest box provided by researchers with the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group (SCPBRG) at the University of California, Santa Cruz, are drawing more an more crowds online.
Wildlife biologist Glenn Stewart, coordinator of the SCPBRG, is happy that the webcam he has helped set up has become a big hit with falcon-watchers.
"It's a unique opportunity to see a falcon's home life," he said.
The webcam monitoring the nest box of the falcons named Carlos and Clara has averaged 18,000 visits daily since the chicks hatched on April 22.
The online reality show, which can be seen on the SCPBRG web site at http://www2.ucsc.edu/scpbrg/peregrine_cam.htm, has among its fans San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.
Reed's interest in the project becomes clear from the fact that his office has been issuing regular press releases with updates on the City Hall falcon family.
Stewart has assigned four research interns to "drive" the webcam so that viewers do not miss any of the action going on in the nest box.
These research interns remotely operate the camera from their computers.
The camera has spawned an online discussion group with more than 1,700 members, which is used by Stewart and his colleagues to answer questions regarding Carlos and Clara's family.