SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A once endangered species has settled in at the Monarch Place once again in downtown Springfield.
Four baby peregrine falcon chicks were banded Monday, an effort that makes the birds identifiable for tracking and monitoring. Falcon families have been nesting on the 21st floor ledge at the Monarch building for nearly 35 years now.
Back in the 1960’s, peregrine falcons disappeared from the eastern United States. Joseph Rogers of MassWildlife explained the significance of the falcons’ eventual return to the area.
“What makes this site so important for us is that this is the second location where these peregrine falcons came back and started re-nesting. So we’ve had them here on the building since 1989. We’ve monitored their productivity since that time. We’ve produced something like 44 young out of these nests,” said Rogers.
The banding process takes some effort as handlers secure the devices while ensuring the chicks are healthy and safe. The mortality rate of young falcons is high, though once they make it past two years old, it’s likely they can live up to 17, 18 years old.
These chicks weren’t too fond of a photo-op… but all four were declared healthy. MassWildlife says if you see these birds or others like them across the state, don’t hesitate to let them know so they can locate additional nests.