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Young Peregrine Falcons Spread Their Wings. Six Peregrines Currently Inhabit Downtown Seattle.

Published 06-20-00

Submitted by Washington Mutual, Inc.

Belle and Stewart, the peregrine falcons raising their young atop Washington Mutual Tower, once again have an empty nest. All four of their offspring have now "fledged" and left the nest to learn to fend for themselves. Belle and Stewart, named after two downtown Seattle streets, have been nesting and raising their young atop the 55-story high-rise since 1995.

Belle and Stewart's success in raising all four of their offspring to the fledgling stage is unmatched in their mating history, and rare among all falcons. Disease and injury takes the lives of many young falcons soon after birth. The natural survival rate for newborn falcons, or "eyasses," is one in three.

Since March, Seattleites have watched Belle and Stewart successfully hatch and raise the young falcons via a color television monitor in Washington Mutual's Tower Financial Center. A video camera installed near their nest allows enthusiasts and researchers to follow the growth and development of the falcon family. The monitors have now been turned off until Belle and Stewart return next Spring.

The four eyasses will remain in downtown Seattle until they fully develop and learn to catch their own food. Naturally competitive and territorial, the young falcons may stay in the Seattle area or journey as far as South America.

The Seattle Peregrine Project is sponsored by Washington Mutual and the Falcon Research Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and preservation of the threatened birds. More information about the project and peregrines in general can be found at the group's web site at www.frg.org.

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a financial services company that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At March 31, 1999, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $188.61 billion.

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Washington Mutual, Inc.

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