Harrisburg – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Pennsylvania Game Commission, and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) banded Harrisburg’s newest peregrine falcons today in an educational event attended by students and teachers.
Students from Bethel Springs Elementary School in Delaware County and Immanuel Christian School in Luzerne County traveled to Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, home to DEP and DCNR, to watch the banding and learn about the return of the falcon population in the Northeast.
“DCNR is proud of the role it, along with other state and federal agencies, plays in helping certain wildlife populations rebound in Pennsylvania, and the peregrine falcon is among the stellar success stories coming from those efforts,” said Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “The late Rachel Carson, namesake of our headquarters building, would be justifiably proud that this structure is the site of what is now viewed as the most productive peregrine nest in Pennsylvania.”
Game Commission biologist Art McMorris led a team in bringing the nestlings in from the 15th floor ledge. He weighed the birds, inspected their health, and banded them. A student recorded the weight and band code for each.
Educator Elaine Gruin from ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park in Hershey brought a live adult falcon to demonstrate the features of this powerful species.
The peregrine falcon was removed from the federal Endangered Species List in 1999 but remains federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It’s listed as threatened in Pennsylvania and protected under the Game and Wildlife Code.
Seventy-two falcons have now hatched since the nest was installed at the Rachel Carson building in 1996.
The public watched a livestream of the event online; the video recording may be viewed on the DEP Facebook page.