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Latest Peregine Falcon Chicks Have Left the Nest

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – The roof top of the Statler Building in Downtown Buffalo continues attracting endangered birds -- the Peregrine Falcon. Another new round of falcon chicks recently left the nest high above Franklin Street. But environmental experts expect more falcons to return.

The Statler Building appears to be a favorite nesting spot for the adult falcons. They were first spotted in downtown Buffalo nesting at City Hall in 1996. The following year the Department of Environmental Conservation set up a nest box on the Statler. Since that time, 22 peregrine chicks have fledged from that site. Patricia Nelson, a citizen participating specialist with the DEC, says two falcon chicks were recently banded and they are now off on their own.

"The parents and the chicks are probably still around the Buffalo area," Nelson said. "We have a web camera in the nest. Periodically, we see either the chicks or the parent birds at the nest or resting on one of the perches."

Banding the female falcons and chicks allows the DEC to track their travels and biologists to learn more about the birds. But so far, Nelson says, only one Buffalo born falcon has been tracked in another City. It was caught in Cape May, New Jersey for banding by environmental officials.

Nelson says they expect more falcons to return the Statler because it just seems to be the right spot for the falcons to nest and raise chicks.

"Historically, these are birds that nest on ledges and cliffs. So, they like to be some place high up where there's no chance of predators are going to get near," Nelson explained. "They also like spots where they can see for a good distance. The Statler is one of the taller buildings downtown. They really have a pretty good view from there."

The falcons usually nest at the Statler in March and lay eggs by April. The DEC says sometimes the adult falcons can even be spotted spending even the winter months in Buffalo on top of the Statler.