Helping restore the falcon population

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Up until about 15 years ago the peregrine falcon was on the endangered species list because of pesticides like DDT.

Thanks to conservation efforts across the nation, the population is healthy once again. They are even found in the city.

Since 1987, the Mayo Clinic has taken part in the effort to restore falcons in the area.

“If you count the birds that were so called hacked, 32 in ‘87 and ‘88. Since then, we’ve added more birds of course, and counting the three [Wednes]day, there’ve been 78 young birds released from buildings on the Mayo campus,” said Dr. Don Scholz, a project volunteer.

Wednesday they grabbed the recently hatched ones and took a blood sample, and gave them medicine before banding them and returning them to the nest.

“There are 30 or 40 nesting pairs in Minnesota alone that we brought back once we got rid of the organic chloride pesticides like DDT that  we were poisoning them with,” Scholz said.

The birds are expected to leave the nest and take flight in about a month.

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