Peregrine falcon population rises in southeastern Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A new report says peregrine falcons are making a comeback in southeastern Michigan.

The state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say the region’s population has grown from five young birds introduced in 1987 to 15 nesting pairs that reared 30 young birds last year.

Locally the Lansing Board of Water and Light is teaming up with the Department of Natural Resources, Potter Park Zoo and Michigan State University today to band three peregrine falcon chicks.

Today’s banding will let experts keep track of the birds’ migration.

It’s taking place at the Eckert Power Station where their parents are nesting.

The peregrine falcon is still an endangered species in the state, although it’s been removed from the federal list.

The population became imperiled as the pesticide DDT accumulated in the falcons and made their eggs fragile.

The report says there were 54 peregrine falcon nest sites across Michigan in 2016.

Peregrines are crow-sized birds with prominent cheek marks on either side of their head. They feed on smaller birds and can reach speeds of 180 mph when diving at prey.

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