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Peregrine falcon chicks at BWL power plant

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BWL

A trio of Peregrine falcon chicks will have a big day Monday in Lansing.

The chicks were born in early May, high atop the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s downtown power plant.

This week, the chicks will get a health check and be banded. The banding will help researchers track adult birds. For example, researchers know the chicks' father is an 8-year-old named Eckert from Muskegon, and their mother is a 3-year-old named Viper from Windsor, Ontario. 

Heavy use of pesticides, including DDT in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s, caused serious health problems in the Peregrine falcon, landing the bird on the Endangered Species list. 

The Peregrine falcon was removed from the list in 1999.

The population remains low, and efforts continue to help the species rebound.

Since 2004, 48 Peregrine falcon eggs have been laid at BWL’s Eckert Power Station. Twenty-three have hatched. Only 17 chicks have grown enough to leave the nest.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.