Money management firm Legg Mason Inc. plays a bit part in a beautiful new children's book about birds.
Employees on the 33rd floor of Legg Mason's downtown Baltimore headquarters are the annual hosts of a family of endangered peregrine falcons that now are the stars of a new children's book, "Perry's Baltimore Adventure: A Bird's-Eye View of Charm City."
Like all birds of prey, the population of peregrine falcons on the Eastern seaboard crashed to near extinction in the 1960s. But Scarlett, a captive-raised bird that was released into the wild, showed up at the Legg Mason building in 1979. She was alone for some time, until Beauregard wandered in, won her affections and they set up housekeeping. In real life, Scarlett's eggs were infertile for some time, but she proved to be a great foster mom to captive-born chicks.
In the book, fictional protagonist Perry is one of the young falcons from Scarlett and Beauregard's first brood of their own eggs. Written by Baltimore physician Peter E. Danns and illustrated by Kim Harrell, the book tells kids about the lives of the Legg Mason peregrines. Perry's first flight takes him past many of Baltimore's favorite cultural and historical sites, including Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, whose biggest fan may well be Legg Mason Chairman Chip Mason.
But Mr. Mason doesn't have to wait to see fly-by falcons at the ball game, or drop in on the employees of Legg Mason's equity and research group on the 33rd floor to check the family's progress.
A ledge-top camera chronicles each year's nesting progress and beams intimate details of family life to the building's lobby. This year, four eggs were successfully hatched, fed dismantled pigeon carcasses, and took their first flights in May, said Tom Murphy, Legg Mason's building manager from property management company Colliers Pinkard.