Teachers, students invited to attend falcon banding

HARRISBURG – May 6 is the last day that students, teachers and non-formal educators can register to attend the annual peregrine falcon banding event from 1 to 2 p.m. May 13 in the Rachel Carson State Office Building auditorium. It is sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Protection and Game Commission and also will be webcast live.

“This banding is a unique opportunity for teachers and students to witness firsthand wildlife management techniques,” said DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo. “These techniques are an important part of protecting and reintroducing endangered species in Pennsylvania.”

Space is limited; registration is required and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to educators and students who have not previously attended the event or a falcon educator’s workshop.

Anyone can view the live stream of the banding on DEP’s website.

During the one-hour session, biologists will retrieve the newly hatched nestlings, weigh them and place a metal band with a falcon-specific code around each bird’s left leg. Wildlife officials and bird enthusiasts will use the band code to monitor the birds after they leave the nest. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service band will be placed on the eyases’ right leg, registering each on a federal banding database.

Viewers and guests will learn how biologists use alphanumeric bands to study falcons as they migrate, pair with other peregrines and set up breeding territories. They also will hear details about the wildlife-management techniques used to reintroduce and monitor endangered species.

The Rachel Carson State Office Building nest site has been active and reproducing Peregrine falcons for the past 14 years. This year, there is a new female in the nest who arrived last summer and has laid a clutch of four eggs. The eggs should begin to hatch around April 19.

To view the live banding event, visit and click on the Falcon Cam button.

To register for banding event, mid-state educators should contact DEP’s Environmental Education and Information Center at 717-772-1644 or

Fans also may follow the falcons through Twitter at