TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas wildlife officials have tagged several peregrine falcon chicks in downtown Topeka.
The three peregrine falcon chicks are part of a family that have nested at Evergy headquarters in downtown Topeka for decades. The utility company has partnered with wildlife officials through its Avian Protection Program to help protect the, once endangered, species.
Kansas Capitol Bureau got an up close look at recovery efforts on Friday, which included ‘banding’ each of the three chicks.
Scientists usually ‘band’ birds with metal rings around their ankles that includes a unique set of numbers. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, individual identification of birds makes possible studies of dispersal and migration, behavior and social structure, life-span and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth.
One of the three chicks has garnered a lot of attention for its smaller size, compared to its siblings. After being inspected by wildlife officials on Friday, Pat Silvosky, Director of Milford Nature Center in Junction City, said the bird is in “great shape.”
“We’re just looking at its size difference… it’s typical, it’s normal. Plus, we think by the weight we got it’s a male, so that also accounts for it being smaller, but its crop is full. It’s in great shape,” said Silovsky, who’s spent four decades as a wildlife rehabilitator.
Silvosky and other wildlife officials are keeping a close eye on the bird, along with thousands of viewers online throughout the day.
“We think it’s healthy. It’s just maybe four, five days younger. I’ve seen routinely where the parents have paid a lot of attention to it,” said Eric Johnson, Evergy’s Biology Program Coordinator. “Even though it’s the smallest of the three, it’s probably the most vocal and ferocious eater.”
Evergy will also be holding a naming contest for the three new chicks on their Facebook page, here, next week. They’re encouraging customers to submit ideas.
To watch a livestream of the falcon chicks’ nest, click here.