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Peregrine Falcons Welcome First Newborns at Washington Mutual Tower

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 30, 2001--Belle and Stewart, the endangered peregrine falcons nesting atop the Washington Mutual Tower, have welcomed their first two newborns of the year, and another one is expected within minutes.

The first arrived at 11:33 p.m. on April 29 and the second emerged in the early morning hours on April 30. The third is about to hatch, and the fourth is also expected today.

The newborns, called eyasses, will remain in the nest for about six weeks as they develop and prepare to take their first flight. Stewart and Belle, named after nearby downtown streets, have been nesting and raising their young atop the 55-story tower since 1995. A video camera installed near their nest allows researchers and enthusiasts to monitor and study the falcons.

The public can view the falcon family live via a color television monitor inside Washington Mutual's Tower Financial Center at 1201 Third Avenue. A second monitor is placed in a financial center window near Third Avenue and University Street for after-hours and weekend viewing. The falcons can also be seen on the Falcon Research Group's website at www.frg.org. Updates on the birds' activities are available through the Seattle Peregrine Hotline at 206/654-4423.

Washington Mutual will host a "Hatching Party" on Friday, May 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Tower Financial Center. The public is welcome to stop by for cookies and coffee. Washington Mutual has also recently donated a $1,000 to the Falcon Research Group to help pay for the organization's costs associated with videotaping the birds for research purposes.

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM) is a national financial services company that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and small- to mid-sized businesses. At March 31, 2001, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $219.93 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,300 consumer banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking, consumer finance and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's news releases are available at www.wamu.com.

--30--APS/se

CONTACT: Washington Mutual
Mary Kelley, 206/377-6878