Pennsylvania DEP, Game Commission Band Peregrine Falcon Hatchling
HARRISBURG, Pa., May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Department of Environmental Protection and Game Commission today hosted a Peregrine falcon banding event to help students learn about efforts to restore the species.
“Public interest in the resurgence of Peregrine falcons continues to grow,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “With a coded identification band, wildlife officials and enthusiasts everywhere will be able to use our website to monitor the falcon’s activities and development.”
From the 1940s to the early 1970s, widespread use of pesticides such as the now-banned DDT caused a steep decline in Peregrine falcon populations. Although the predatory bird is no longer a federally designated endangered species, it remains on the state wildlife commission’s endangered species list.
Since 1997, various Peregrine falcons have nested at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, where DEP is headquartered. A younger female came to roost in 2010 and laid her first clutch of eggs earlier this year.
Today, biologists retrieved the hatchling, the only one to hatch from this year’s clutch of eggs, from a nest on a ledge outside the 15th floor. More than 150 students and teachers from Harrisburg-area schools watched the placement of the identification bands on the young falcon’s legs.
Following the banding, a representative from the ZOOAMERICA: North American Wildlife Park discussed falcons’ adaptive abilities.
A replay of the event can be viewed online at www.depweb.state.pa.us; select the Falcon Cam button. The video shows the banding of the fledgling and demonstrates how biologists use alphanumeric bands to study Peregrine falcons as they migrate, pair with other Peregrines and set up breeding territories.
Fans are also encouraged to follow the Peregrines this year through Twitter at www.twitter.com/FalconChatter.
For more information, contact DEP’s Environmental Education center at 717-772-1644.
Media contact: Kevin Sunday, 717-787-1323
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection