HARRISBURG, Pa., April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania Game Commission today invited students, teachers and non-formal educators to tune in for the annual Peregrine falcon banding event during a live webcast on Tuesday, May 21.
The 1 to 2 p.m. banding will be in the Rachel Carson State Office Building auditorium in Harrisburg, Dauphin County.
"This event is a unique chance for all of us to see firsthand wildlife management techniques that are being used right here in Pennsylvania to reintroduce and monitor endangered species," Acting DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. "We are happy to be able to offer the online view of the falcons on their ledge throughout the season, and this annual event is especially exciting."
Biologists will retrieve the young falcons, called eyases, from their nest, weigh them and place a metal band with a falcon-specific code around each bird's left leg. Wildlife officials and bird enthusiasts will use the band code to monitor the birds after they leave the nest. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service band will be placed on the eyases' right leg, registering each on a federal banding database.
Classrooms across Pennsylvania are encouraged to watch the banding on DEP's website. Viewers will learn how biologists use alphanumeric bands to study Peregrine falcons as they migrate, pair with other Peregrines and set up breeding territories. They will also hear details about the wildlife-management techniques used to reintroduce and monitor endangered species.
Since 1997, countless Peregrine falcons have made their home on a ledge off the 15th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg. Peregrine falcons, which are an endangered species in Pennsylvania, were extremely rare in the state for many years. Through reintroduction programs, they have adapted to life in urban environments like Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Williamsport. Each year, DEP and the Game Commission track the birds' activities and share educational information through, among other things, the popular online Falcon Cam.
The Rachel Carson State Office Building nest site has been active and reproducing young Peregrine falcons for the past 13 years. This year, the female laid a clutch of four eggs, all of whom have hatched.
The banding event can be viewed live from anywhere by visiting DEP's website at www.dep.state.pa.us and clicking on the PA Falcon Cam button. Fans can also follow the falcons through Twitter at www.twitter.com/FalconChatter.
To register to attend the Peregrine Falcon banding event in-person, educators should contact DEP's Environmental Education and Information Center at 717-772-1644 or email at [email protected] by May 14. Space is limited, so registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to educators and students who have not previously attended the event.
Media contact: Amanda Witman, 717-787-1323
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection