Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Peregrines in the Midwest - Kentucky Spotlight

The pair of breeding peregrine falcons on the Milton-Madison (US-421) Bridge (see photo) has exhibited exceptional resiliency to the construction which is occurring on the bridge. Walsh Construction is currently working on the reconstruction of this bridge and has been extremely cooperative in working with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) on minimizing disturbance to the falcon pair. The pair nested in a provided nest box on a pier of the bridge where no construction activity occurred in 2012. Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife Resources banded the young falcons in May, with the help of John Castrale, of the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife. There were 3 young, approximately 24 days old - 2 females and 1 male. All appeared healthy. The young were named by Walsh Construction for the famous “Three’s Company” trio: Jack, Chrissy and Janet. (See photo of juvenile).

KDFWR staff were able to get a reading on the bands of the adult female falcon at this site b/g *R/*A (see last photo). She hatched in 2008 at the LG&E Trimble County station in Bedford which is down the river about 10 miles from Milton. Her name is Kessel and we assume she is the same female that was there in 2010-2011. The male at this site is still Asa Crane *D/D (b/r). Asa Crane was the only living falcon left which is known to nest in Kentucky that was released during recovery efforts in the 1990’s. He was released in 1997 at the Kentucky Utilities Ghent Station in Carroll County just 8 miles or so up river from Milton. Thus, he is now 15 years old and was named for a gentleman at the plant who helped with the releases and later passed away of cancer.

We wish to thank Kathryn Heyden of the KDFWR for her contribution of this story, and the incredible amount of work it takes to coordinate the peregrine monitoring and banding each season. We are very grateful to all of the state coordinators who put in so much time to ensure that the body of knowledge we have on this species is added to each year with the banding and other activities carried out. Thank you also to Charlie Gannon for photos.

1 comment:

  1. I was wondering how I might be able to get copies of these falcon pictures, Kessel and Asa, or if someone might have contact information for Charlie Gannon, in order to get permission to make copies. Thanks!