Check It Out: Two Peregrine Falcons Banded At International Bridge

Two Peregrine Falcon chicks, a male and a female, were banded by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources team on June 10.

The color-coded bands allow scientists to track the movements, reproductive behavior and population growth of the falcons.

Falcon

”The mother bird refused to leave the nest this year,” said Karl Hansen, bridge engineer for the International Bridge Administration. ”That was a first. The MDNR staff had to gently remove her to access the young birds.”

In addition to their leg bands, the peregrine chicks received names. The International Bridge staff named the male bird Tony and the female bird Franny.

Nest boxes for the peregrines have been installed since 2010 on the International Bridge.

Hansen said that over the years the site has had great success and 32 falcon chicks have hatched since the staff started counting the birds.

Michigan lost its peregrine falcons in the 1960s and 1970s due to the use of DDT and other environmental contaminants.

The peregrine falcon has been removed from the federal endangered species list. However, it is listed as an endangered species in Michigan.

Several years ago, the IBA added a video camera on the nest box, the “FalCam.” The live video stream is viewable here. IBA says the best time to view the birds is when they’re nesting in the spring.