Four St. Louis FalconCam chicks flourishing, banded for WBS research
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Through a partnership of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Ameren Missouri and the World Bird Sanctuary (WBS), people around the world have been getting a bird’s-eye view of peregrine falcons raising four chicks in a nest box at Ameren’s Sioux Energy Center in St. Louis. A camera mounted near the birds’ nest box provides video feeds to each organization’s website.
This year’s nesting activities were first spotted in the beginning of February. According to WBS Director Jeff Meshach, the female peregrine falcon laid four eggs in mid-March, which hatched in mid-April.
Meshach placed leg bands on the four falcon chicks on May 17 -- three males and one female. The process took about one hour and involved removing the chicks from the nest and taking them down from the nesting site to a trailer. WBS staff drew blood samples and weighed and measured the chicks. After banding the chicks, Meshach returned them to the nest.
"The chicks appear healthy and very well fed,” said Meshach. “The chicks should be fledging the nest in mid-June.”
The leg bands are issued to permitted organizations through the U.S. Geological Survey.
“The bands provide information on migration routes, migration distances and distributions on breeding birds,” Meshach explained. “For instance, we can tell that the mother of the chicks was hatched in 2006 at a power plant in Iowa. We know the male was hatched at the Labadie Energy Center in 2004."
Get more details through video of banding at: youtube.com/watch?v=2STobmvdRTQ.
The nest can be viewed live from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. (CT) seven days a week on MDC’s website at mdc.mo.gov/node/16934, on Ameren’s website at AmerenMissouri.com/FalconWatch and on the WBS website at worldbirdsanctuary.org.
Considered the world’s fastest animal, peregrine falcons have been clocked diving at 261 mph. For more information on peregrine falcons, visit MDC online at mdc.mo.gov.