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Three Falcon Chicks Banded at I&M Headquarters

by on June 6, 2018
John Winebrenner, left, assists biologist John Castrale in banding the falcon chicks.

(Story by Tracy Warner)

FORT WAYNE — Three falcon chicks nesting on the roof of Indiana Michigan Power Center received identification bands and were named May 22 during an event hosted by I&M.

Teens for Nature, whose members volunteer at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, named the male chicks Glenn, in honor of astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn, and Ranger. They named the female Phoebe.

John Glenn, who passed away in December 2017 at the age of 95, was one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts and was the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. In 1998, at the age of 77, he returned to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery to become the oldest person to go into space.

More than 30 members of the group were in attendance along with volunteers from Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation, a Fort Wayne-based organization that has assisted with the falcons at IMPC  for more than two decades.

John Castrale, a non-game bird biologist retired from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, banded the three chicks, as he has since the first chicks were born atop the building in 1996. By putting leg bands on the young birds, biologists are able to track the movements and survival of Midwestern peregrine falcons. When mature, most young birds will settle from 50 to 200 miles from where they were raised.

Soarin’ Hawk volunteers presented an educational overview and answered questions about the birds. Volunteers also held the chicks to give attendees a close-up look.

The three chicks bring to 55 the number of young falcons that have hatched on the building and were banded by the DNR. This is the sixth consecutive year that Moxie, the female, and Jamie, the male, have produced chicks.

The event received local media coverage from The Journal GazetteWANE TV and WPTA 21.


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