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WXXI Local Stories
2:55 am
Thu May 31, 2007

Banding Day for Rochester Falcon Chicks

Rochester, NY – The Peregrine Falcons nesting on top of the Kodak Tower in Rochester have produced four healthy female chicks.

All four were banded and given health checks Thursday morning by State Department of Environmental Conservation wildlife technicians and volunteers from the Genesee Valley Audubon Society.

Jim Pisello (pi-ZELL-oh) of the Audubon Society says the annual process helps track the recovery of the Peregrine species.

A crowd of bird watchers and school children watched from the sidewalk below the Kodak building on State Street as the volunteers went to the nest box. As usual, adult falcons Mariah (ma-RYE-ah) and Kaver (KAY-ver) circled the tower screeching and occasionally flying at the humans.

Pisello says the D-E-C and Audubon workers wear hard hats and eye protection to ward off falcon attacks. Two of them also hold large grass rakes above their heads. Pisello says those are targets that protect the adult falcons because they'll approach but won't hit them. He says the main protection for both the falcons and the workers is to limit the time they spend at the nesting box as much as possible.

The four Peregrine chicks -- or "eyases" (EYE-a-SEEZ) were returned to their nest within half-an-hour.

You can watch the falcons' progress each spring on the web at rfalconcam.com.