Five Peregrine falcon chicks hatched this spring in a nesting box high above Ameren Missouri's Sioux Energy Center now have permanent identifications. Representatives from the World Bird Sanctuary (WBS) completed the harmless process of placing numbered and colored bands around their legs this morning. Now wherever the birds go, researchers have the chance to record those numbers and add to information about their lives.
"Until now we've kept our distance from the chicks, and like everyone else, enjoyed watching their early days through Falcon Cam. Seeing them in person for the first time reinforces how important it is that we continue this successful program," says Jeff Meshach, deputy director at the World Bird Sanctuary (WBS).
The five hatchlings hatched this year tie an Ameren Missouri record for the number of chicks hatched in one year. They are matched only by the chicks that appeared in the first season of Falcon Cam in 2011. Since 2002, Meshach and his colleagues at WBS have banded more than 50 Peregrine falcons hatched in nesting boxes at Ameren Missouri energy centers.
"All of the co-workers at Sioux Energy Center, and across Ameren Missouri, take a great amount of pride in being environmental stewards and providing a safe space for the falcons’ return every year," said Matt Wallace, director of Ameren Missouri's Sioux Energy Center.
The mother is a three-time resident at Sioux Energy Center. She hatched in 2006 in Minnesota. The male hatched in 2004 and was released in New Madrid, Missouri. Their brood included 3 males and 2 females.
"Providing Missourians the opportunity to watch these magnificent birds up close is a great way to spread awareness of conservation efforts for this and other threatened species," said Sarah Kendrick, State Ornithologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).
See the birds live on the Ameren Missouri Falcon Cam from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. (CDT), seven days a week at AmerenMissouri.com/FalconWatch until nesting activity is complete and the young leave the nest. Also posted on the site are archived videos of the chicks shortly after they hatched as well as a weekly column authored by Meshach providing more insight into the lives of Peregrine falcons.
Information on the birds is uploaded and housed in the U.S. Geological Survey's nationwide database. Falcon Cam is a partnership between Ameren Missouri, WBS and MDC dedicated to providing bird lovers in Missouri and around the globe an insight into these incredible animals.
About Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.
About World Bird Sanctuary
WBS preserves, protects and inspires to safeguard bird species in the global community for future generations. Its vision is to create a world where diverse bird species are secure and thriving in a variety of stable ecological communities. WBS has been banding peregrine falcons chicks in the greater St. Louis area since 1985. Through captive breeding and release efforts, WBS is greatly responsible for bringing the peregrine back to Missouri as a breeding species. WBS was founded by the late Walter C. Crawford Jr in 1977 and is currently under the direction of Brian Bissonnette.
About Missouri Department of Conservation
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.