What once was an ecological highlight of downtown Indianapolis has spread statewide as wildlife officials continue reintroducing the peregrine falcon to the Midwest.
This year, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife says 16 nests have produced hatchlings, in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, East Chicago, Gary, Michigan City, Madison, New Albany, Porter and Whiting.
Bird biologist John Castrale now that the birds are about three weeks old, he‘s been traveling to those cities to fasten ID bands to their legs.
The bands enable biologists to monitor where the birds settle and how long they live, as well as gather data on genetic similarities with previously banded falcons.
This is the third straight year with at least 16 falcon chicks hatched in Indiana. Castrale says the steady growth may lead to the falcons‘ removal from Indiana‘s endangered species list.
The birds were removed from the federal endangered list in 1999.
After a naming contest, the four chicks born atop Market Tower in Indianapolis have been dubbed Dox, Edge, Bailey and Luka.