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Home > Midwest Peregrine Falcons

Introduction to Midwest Peregrine Falcons

The pesticide DDT took an enormous toll on several bird species. Eagles, ospreys, and other raptors high on the food chain particularly suffered, though brown pelicans and even robins were also hard hit by eggshell thinning and other reproductive failures. Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, published in 1962, was one of the first to call attention to the problem. By that time, though, many bird species in the United States were reeling.

Especially damaged by DDT were peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus), a marvelously adapted raptor that is found on every continent except Antarctica. These birds were nearly extinct in North America by 1962. Following a ban on DDT in 1973, falconers and other researchers initiated a captive breeding program for peregrines. Releases followed in the early 1980s. In 1999, the peregrine falcon was removed from the Endangered Species List and, by 2007, there were more than 200 pairs in the midwestern United States.

This field trip focuses on the efforts of peregrine falcon researchers based in Minnesota and working throughout the Midwest. The field journals on this site begin with June 2007 banding season; the latest journal entry, from March 2009, reports on the first eggs of the 2009 season and the return of many birds to their warm weather territories. In June 2009 another banding season will begin, and FieldTripEarth will report on the research team's activities as they spend another year on peregrine falcon research and restoration.


Spring 2011 Falcon Monitoring 
( About The Project )
UPDATED 31 MAY 2011. The Spring 2011 peregrine falcon monitoring season got off to a good start with pairs and breeding behaviors observed in a variety of locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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Falcon Monitoring, May-July 2010 
( About The Project )
Peregrine falcon researcher Jackie Fallon brings FTE up-to-date on her monitoring activities in Summer 2010.
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Who Wins When Falcons Fight for Territory? 
( About The Project )
Jackie Fallon has observed peregrine falcons battling for territory on several occasions. Sometimes those battles end with the death of an animal. Is the battle worth it to the animals?
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