High Flyers Check In To Penthouse Suite
Added: (Fri Aug 24 2001)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
High-flyers check into penthouse suite
Peregrine falcons are known to like the "high life", nesting on cliff faces and soaring through clouds.
Two falcons in Cairns are living a different kind of high life after making their nest on the 14th floor balcony of the penthouse suite at the Matson Resort.
The falcons have four eggs under the master bedroom window and they have exclusive use of the space until the eggs hatch.
The three-bedroom luxury penthouse usually is rented for a "three or four-figure" nightly sum say staff, but the room is being kept vacant so the birds do not become stressed.
Resort maintenance manager Malcolm Conyers has become an expert on falcons since the birds arrived at the resort almost a month ago.
He said the eggs were first noticed two weeks ago and they were expected to hatch in another two weeks.
"Normally, you would have to scale a cliff and abseil down to see these falcons nesting," Mr Conyers said.
"Our main concern at first was the safety of the guests and of the birds so we called in Queensland Parks and Wildlife and I did a bit of research myself.
They are not a danger so we are keeping the room free until the birds hatch.
They are discerning falcons, these two. It is quite a unique situation."
QPWS wildlife ranger Greg Watson yesterday said peregrine falcons had been known to nest in the city and this particular pair has made their home at Cairns Base Hospital in years past.
He said the hospital was being renovated, which may have driven the birds next door to the resort.
"They have been feeding off rainbow lorikeets and feral pigeons" Mr Watson said. "Peregrine falcons are the fastest birds in the world.
"The Guinness Book of Records lists their diving speed as 350km/h but researchers have tracked their fastest diving speed at 180km/h which is the official speed.
"The status of these birds is that they are common, but common for the falcon means there are probably only two pairs in greater Cairns.
"They do not have a high population density."