Banding the Chicks
Jeff Meshach, Director, World Bird Sanctuary, managed the banding efforts on May 29 at the Ameren Missouri Sioux Energy Center. He removed the four chicks, two males and two females, from the nesting box then returned them after the bands had been placed on their legs. View video.
The mother falcon was not exactly happy about the removal of the chicks. Jeff wears a helmet where on the back he has drawn a face that includes two big eyes and a mouth full of teeth. His theory is that when a predator of the falcon looks directly at it (the scary face), the falcon will get nervous and fly away. So if the mother falcon sees the large painted face on his helmet as Jeff is removing the chicks from the nesting box, it may keep her from being so aggressive. This theory has been proven true many times. However, the mother falcon at the Sioux Energy Center was not intimidated by the scary face! Jeff was struck 12 times in all by mom while removing and replacing the chicks. Read the latest Ask Jeff for a first-hand account and even more images of Banding Day. View the video to see her reaction. (There's no audio with this video, but you will see Jeff wearing his helmet as he moves the chicks from the nesting box to a carrier.)
The bands, which are color coded and lettered, provide individual identification and are carefully placed on the chick's legs.
World Bird Sanctuary's reintroduction program has banded and placed more than 90 hatched peregrines back into Missouri's wild.
Here's one more - banded and ready to return to the nesting box!