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Thursday, 3 January, 2002, 19:26 GMT
Falcon soars on the web
Falcon cam image
Images from the nest are screened in a school hall
A peregrine falcon has taken on a starring role on the internet, as well as during lunches at a Devon primary school.

A wildlife surveillance company hired a steeplejack to fit a digital camera over the bird's nest in Exeter last month, as part of an education project.

Now pictures of the nest are been screened on the internet, whether or not the bird is in it.

The images are being updated for school pupils every five seconds, during school hours.

Urban first

The camera was set up on St Michael's Church steeple in Ironbridge, near Exeter city centre.

The surveillance company, called eco-watch, has set up a line to feed footage through to a screen in the hall at nearby St David's First School.

It can be seen during school lunches, as well as in lessons.

It was the first time the company had set up a surveillance camera on an urban nest.

Computer software to detect movement in the nest is to be fitted to trigger the camera when the bird is in view.

Peregrine falcons have been nesting on St Michael's tower for about 10 years.

The species' survival is threatened, though numbers in Britain are growing.


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