Like amorous country cousins, city peregrine falcons also thriving

Valentine’s Day sight-seers have been checking out a pair of Peregrine falcons, indulging in mating displays, high in the air above Tallulah Gorge.

But sharp-eyed Atlantans might catch a similar lovey-dovey Peregrine couple closer to home.

A pair of the fleet falcons has been spotted this year sporting in the air above the Four Seasons hotel in Midtown, though bird-watchers have yet to discover a nest.

It’s not the first time the predators have visited Atlanta’s high rises. A peregrine couple made their home near the top of the Marriott Marquis in the 1990s, raising their young, swallowing pigeons and occasionally buzzing window washers.

They moved to the SunTrust building later on, and as recently as last year successfully fledged a juvenile peregrine, called an “eyas,” according to Bob Sargent, wildlife biologist and program manager for the non-game conservation section of the Wildlife Resources Division of the state Department of Natural Resources.

“Given the number of observations of adults, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were two nesting sites,” said Sargent.

But though adult peregrines have been sighted at the Four Seasons hotel and farther north, around Lenox Mall, Sargent’s group of bird-watching volunteers have yet to discover where the birds are making their city home.

The nest on the cliffs of Tallulah Gorge is the first one discovered in the wild since World War II.

Driven to extinction in the east, the peregrine is a conservation success story. The banning of DDT and federal protection has allowed the animal to thrive, and to be taken off the endangered species list. “Hacking” stations, reintroducing the peregrine to city skies, helped it multiply.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Living

Pools, hot tubs more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find
Pools, hot tubs more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find

Taking a cool, refreshing dip in a lake or swimming pool is one of summer’s enjoyments and sometimes a necessary escape from the stifling heat. But two recent federal health studies found that some waters is better than others, at least when it comes to avoiding waterborne illnesses. Of 633 outbreaks nationwide caused by bacteria, viruses or...
Home remedies: Treating your sunburn
Home remedies: Treating your sunburn

It boils down to what’s in the term sunburn: “sun” and “burn.” Simply put, the sun burns your skin. And the result can be pain, redness, blisters and peeling skin. “Prevention is the key,” says Dr. Cindy Kermott, a Mayo Clinic preventive medicine physician. “But if you’ve already been sunburned...
Effortless ways to eat well this summer

It’s hot outside, and you’ve got about 50 million more fun things to do than ponder nutritious choices. So just … don’t! With our simple tricks and tips, eating well is as effortless as lounging by the pool. Problem: We love Mexican and Chinese takeout. Do you have any smart picks? Solution: On Chinese night, order steamed...
Healthy heatwave reminders: Heatstroke and hydration
Healthy heatwave reminders: Heatstroke and hydration

On bright summer days we may remember to apply the sunscreen, but we may not remember to give the heat the full respect it deserves. When temperatures soar, Mayo Clinic experts say we need to take precautions. We also need to be on guard for the warning signs of overheating. Family medicine physician Jennifer Nordstrom, M.D., at Mayo Clinic Health...
Kick added sugar in sports drinks
Kick added sugar in sports drinks

Nike recently launched a Gatorade-colored collection of Air Jordan sneakers in honor of the sports drink’s famous 1991 “Be Like Mike” advertisement, which encouraged Americans to consume brightly hued sugar water if they wanted to emulate basketball star Michael Jordan. Plenty did. Gatorade is still paying big bucks to professional...
More Stories