The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Pennsylvania Game Commission banded Harrisburg’s newest peregrine falcons.
“The falcons that have nested on the Rachel Carson State Office Building continue to be an environmental success story,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Without the improvements to Pennsylvania’s environment, these birds would not have the track record that they do here on the Rachel Carson Building.”
Game Commission biologist Patti Barber led a team in bringing the nestlings in from the 15th floor ledge. Barber weighed the birds, inspected their health, and banded them.
Banding the falcons allows biologists and birdwatchers from all over the continent to track the birds and help us learn more about where they travel, how long they’ve lived, and whether they’ll establish new nests in other places. Falcons born on the ledge at the Rachel Carson building have been tracked to locations from Florida all the way to Canada.
The peregrine falcon was removed from the federal Endangered Species List in 1999 and the Pennsylvania Threatened List in 2021 but remains federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the state Game and Wildlife Code.
Eighty-three falcons have now hatched since reproduction began in 2000. This makes the Rachel Carson State Office Building nest site the most prolific in the commonwealth.
DEP has a live falcon cam on the ledge to see the falcon nestlings and the adult birds.