F. Arthur McMorris, Ph.D , Peregrine Falcon coordinator working for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, is looking for information on Peregrine Falcons sighted in Pennsylvania during the period from mid-February (i.e. right now) through August. This information is very important for aiding the recovery of the Peregrine Falcon population in PA. Peregrines are still recovering after having been completely wiped out in eastern North America by DDT and other pesticides.
Right now Peregrines are at their most conspicuous as they re-establish their pair bonds and advertise their territory, and as single birds advertise for mates. Displays include vocalizing (wailing, kakking) and high soaring, high-speed aerial maneuvers, stoops (power-dives), either singly or as pairs; and males catching bird prey in flight and presenting it to their mate as a gift. The birds also act aggressively towards other birds: Red-tailed Hawks, Turkey Vultures, Bald Eagles, other Peregrines; sometimes even small airplanes! At other times, the birds may simply perch quietly for hours near the site they are claiming for their nest.
It’s a great time to watch these birds. All sightings are important. Don’t assume the PGC already knows about the birds you’re seeing. They would rather hear about birds that they already know about than miss birds.
Very importantly, there are very few known nests at natural (cliff) sites in Pennsylvania. If you see Peregrines near cliffs, or areas of whitewash on cliff ledges, please let them know.
Please reply to F.Arthur McMorris at 610-664-2174 and be aware that most nesting sites are especially sensitive to disturbance and should not be publicized.