Chesterton Tribune

DNR says Peregrine Falcon nesting program continues to be successful

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An experiment started more than 20 years ago to reintroduce peregrine falcons to Indiana is paying off with impressive numbers this spring, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said.

Sixteen nesting attempts have been observed and seven of those sites so far have hatched chicks, including two from Indiana’s most prolific peregrine: Kinney. The 16 attempts are three more than in any previous year and an increase of four from last year.

Kinney, a 19-year-old male first released in Kentucky, continues to set up nesting operations at Market Tower in Indianapolis, has produced 59 chicks in his lifetime, and is now raising two more.

“Only one other Midwestern peregrine has bred at 19 years of age, and the longevity record for a peregrine is 19 years, 6 months,” said John Castrale, nongame bird biologist for the DNR Fish and Wildlife division.

Kinney has partnered the last 11 years with KathyQ, a wild-produced peregrine from Wisconsin, and their brood could expand with one more egg still in their nest.

Although three to four eggs generally are laid by peregrines, clutches of five eggs were noted at three sites this year. More than 50 eggs have been observed overall, and 16 have hatched so far.

One new nest site was discovered this year at the Indianapolis Power and Light plant along the White River near Petersburg. A nest box has been there since 2004.

Eight of the 16 nesting sites are in Northwest Indiana:

•The ArcelorMittal facility in Burns Harbor: three eggs.

•The NIPSCO Bailly Generating Station in Westchester Township: five eggs; four hatched as of April 27.

•The NIPSCO facility in Michigan City: five eggs; two hatched as of April 30.

•U.S. Steel’s coke facility in Gary: female incubating at nesting site.

•U.S. Steel’s sinter facility in Gary: three eggs.

•The ArcelorMittal facility at Indiana Harbor East: four eggs.

•The ArcelorMittal facility at Indiana Harbor West: four eggs; two chicks hatched as of April 26.

•The BP Amoco refinery in Whiting: four eggs.

“We are grateful that building and plant managers have allowed them to erect nest boxes, monitor nesting activity, and protect the birds from undue disturbance,” Castrale said.

“The successful recovery of peregrine falcons in the Midwest could not have been accomplished without the cooperation of governmental agencies, private organizations, businesses, and dedicated individuals.”

Falcon cams can be viewed at

www.aep.com/go/FalconCam

http://blogs.indystar.com/falconblog/

http://apps.iplpower.com/axis/falcon.aspx

www.southbendin.gov/falcam

 

Posted 5/2/2012