On Thursday morning three peregrine falcon chicks were banded atop the Bank of America building in downtown Providence.
Jeff Hall, senior director of advancement at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI), was there to assist. He said falcons have been nesting at the Superman Building for 15 years now, making this a yearly spring ritual.
Hall said chicks are banded at 21-days-old, when their legs are fully grown.
“Banding is very important, because it tells us how big the population is and if it’s decreasing or increasing, which are important things to know,” said Hall. “That’s how they [biologists] know if they’re threatened or endangered.”
The band acts as a bird's identification, providing information such as the bird’s gender and place of birth. That’s how biologists know that the female peregrine falcon, born in Lowell, Massachusetts, took over the nesting box last year and has a new partner this year.
“This male, though, was born in Providence at that nest four years ago, and we get that information from the bands,” said Hall.
Hall reports the peregrine couple welcomed two males and female. All three appear to be healthy and well fed.
Banding day also marked a reunion. Hall said one of the chicks fell from the nest earlier in the week. It was rescued by an Audubon volunteer, wildlife photographer Peter Green. Hall said Green took the baby bird to a wildlife rehabilitation clinic. (You can read more about the rescue and reunion on Peter Green’s blog.)
“They checked it out, fed it, and we brought it back this morning and we put it back with its siblings,” said Hall.
Hall anticipates the three baby birds will be ready to leave the nest by the second week of June. You can watch these peregrine falcons on ASRI's live web stream.
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