Dennis Money and Mike Britten
May 9, 2001
|Peregrine falcons Mariah and Cabot-Sirocco have produced and nurtured three clutches consisting of ten offspring in a man-made nest box high atop the Kodak Office Tower. Dennis Money, founder of the Rochester Peregrine Falcon Project was joined by Mike Britten, a National Park Service wildlife biologist, to answer your questions while you viewed exclusive photos.
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Tonight, we are pleased to be able to bring co-hosts Dennis Money, founder of the Rochester Peregrine Falcon Project, and National Park Service wildlife biologist Mike Britten to you live via this state-of-the-art chat application.
For the past three years the peregrine falcons Mariah and Cabot-Sirocco and their clutches, atop the Kodak Office Tower, have been the focus of much activity and interest via webcams and discussion boards.
So swoop right in - Welcome, Dennis and Mike!
Hello. I'm a wildlife biologist with the National Park Service and I've worked with peregrines in Alaska and the western U.S., especially in Utah,
and I'm happy to be in the chat room.
Good evening. I'm a principal environmental analyst at Rochester Gas and Electric, and I manage the environmental stewardship program. I'm delighted to be here tonight along with Mike.
Dennis, how did this whole project get started?
It started looking out a window in downtown Manhattan
in 1993 when I saw a large bird, which I identified as a peregrine falcon,
hurtling through the tall skyscrapers of Manhattan chasing a pigeon. It was at that moment that I realized that I wanted to do the Falcon Project in Rochester, New York.
What year did this project start and how long do you plan to continue with it?
The project was initiated in 1994 when the Rochester Peregrine Falcon Project team bought ten falcons from Bob Anderson, who at that time lived in Minnesota. Later that summer Bob was so excited about the success of the program that he actually gave us two more falcons for free. Since that time, the Rochester falcons have spread their wings nd have traveled all over the United States. We currently have falcons from 1994 still producing young in Omaha, Nebraska; Hartford, Connecticut; Cleveland, Ohio; and, of course, now, for the last four years, on top of Eastman Kodak headquarters. The project will continue as long as the birds grace the skies of North America.
What is banding, and why do you do it to all of the falcons in your project?
Banding is placing uniquely numbered aluminum bands on the legs of falcons and other birds so if they are recovered we can determine where they came from. The banding in North America of all birds is managed by the Bird Banding Laboratory, and they coordinate the distribution of bands to the banders, the assignment of these unique numbers, and keep all the data, so that anybody who finds a bird or a bird band can call or write to the Bird Banding Lab to get that information in and find out where the bird was banded.
The other benefit of banding the birds is that we can identify who the birds are and where they originated from, even when they are still alive, and that's why we know where Cabot-Sirocco came from, where Amelia came from (Hartford, Connecticut), and also that Zeus is one of our males from 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska. People use either high-powered binoculars or spotting scopes to be able to identify the birds. But they are fingerprints, so to speak.
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