It should be a warm and fuzzy event – literally – as a state biologist bands peregrine falcon chicks Wednesday live on Facebook.
The chicks, known as eyasses, are still covered in soft, white down. They hatched in a nest in April at the top of the Rachel Carson office building in Harrisburg. Their down will be replaced with feathers. So the goal is to band them before they are able to take flight.
The population of native eastern peregrine falcons was wiped out by the 1960s, mostly through widespread use of the pesticide DDT. Falcons were reintroduced to the state and have fared well.
To attract the birds of prey, state officials installed a nesting ledge atop the Rachel Carson building in 1996, according to Deb Klenotic, a DEP spokesperson. Male and female pairs, which mate for life, have made nests there most years, except for a few year gap. However, they have nested the last 17 straight years. In all, 61 falcons have hatched and been banded. They've been found in other parts of the state, as well as Ohio.