BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Peregrine falcons have been raising their young 33 stories up in the TransAmerica building in Baltimore for decades.

Why?

“It looks just like a cliff or a mountainside. It’s their natural habitat,” said Joel Dunn, CEO of Chesapeake Conservancy.

There are currently two young falcons, called eyas, living up on the building. Late Wednesday, the male tried out its wings.

Taking off 33 floors up, it somehow made it to the ground in one piece.

“He could glide I suppose, but he still had his baby feathers on, so he wasn’t there yet,” said Chris Pullen, the building’s associate property manager.

Meaning, he couldn’t fly back up those 33 floors. So Pullen said another man had to step in and help the little guy out.

“We got a Staples cardboard box, punched some holes in it, and kind of sneaked up on him,” Pullen said.

The plan worked. The bird was in the box and turned over to an expert from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, who found no injuries.

The young falcon’s first flight was not unusual.

“Believe it or not, it’s fairly typical,” Dunn said. “So when the falcons take flight they’re not very good initially at flying,”

But when they master it, they become high-speed hunters. Pidgeons are a favorite food, a big reason they’ve thrived in Baltimore, after being nearly wiped out by the pesticide DDT.

“It’s this remarkable story of resurgence of an endangered species that’s now breeding in 40 states across the country, but the story started here in Baltimore,” Dunn said.

And for the young falcon, a helping hand back to the nest, and a second chance to try out its wings again- and hopefully fly back on its own.

Alex DeMetrick

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