Dec 08 2007

A Young Peregrine’s Fate

Published by at 11:04 pm under Peregrines

Peregrine falcon chicks, May 2007, Monaca (photo by Todd Katzner)The good part about banding birds is that you find out where they end up.  The sad part is you sometimes find out they are dead. 

Last spring Scott Gregg found a pair of peregrine falcons breeding in Beaver County.  This was a first for the county and generated excitement among us peregrine fanatics. 

 The good news:  The adult female’s bands indicate she is Kelly, born in 2003 in Chicago, Illinois.  Her mate is unbanded so we don’t know his origin. 

This spring the pair raised two chicks, a male and a female, photographed on their banding day by Todd Katzner.  Based on the size of the chicks, the male is on the left.

The sad news:  Last month the young male peregrine was found dead beneath an electric pole on a farm in Louisville, Ohio with prey in his talons.  Perhaps he had landed on the pole to eat dinner and accidentally made contact with two bare wires. 

Because he had bands, the farmer who found him reported him to Ohio DNR and they contacted the PA Game Commission to trace the bird. 

So we know where he died.  I wish he’d been found under happier circumstances, but at least we’ve learned a little more about the movements of young peregrines.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “A Young Peregrine’s Fate”

  1. Libby Strizzion 10 Dec 2007 at 10:35 am

    Poor thing — I felt bad for him — got his dinner & everything, then zap! You make things so real, Kate

  2. Joellenon 20 Dec 2007 at 9:19 am

    You brought up an issue I’ve been wondering about. If you find a dead raptor, banded or unbanded, how do you decide if and to whom you should report it? Clearly a banded one should be reported. My dog’s nose found a juvenile redtail (with one whole wing and both feet removed) in Frick Park. No way of telling how or when it died..but it seemed to have been scavenged by human(s) as I’m guessing an animal wouldn’t be interested in wings and feet and leave the “meat”.

  3. Kateon 20 Dec 2007 at 9:38 am

    Your dog probably found illegal activity which should be reported to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Humans who remove the wings and talons of raptors usually kill them to obtain the body parts. Raptors – and all migratory birds – are protected by Federal law. In southwestern PA, call the Game Commission at 724-238-9523.

    That said, the evidence has probably been eaten by now so you will have to save the phone number for later. If someone is sick enough to do this once, they may do it again.

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