26 years ago the first peregrine falcon chicks hatched in Acadia National Park.
This was one of the first successful re-introductions of these incredible birds of prey in the Northeastern United States since they were extirpated 50 years prior.
I grew up in the field alongside both my mama and pops. My pops is a range-conservation biologist by trade, working across the west & Alaska before becoming head wildlife biologist at Acadia National Park. My mama is a botanist, biologist, invasive species specialist and writer for the National Parks. Watching my ol' man lead, study and help guide this reintroduction over the course of my life has been an unforgettable foundation to who I am today.
Each May, alongside an incredible team of climbers we drop the cliffs, and work against time to bring chicks to a safe place to take measurements, weights and band their legs. This process is completely harmless to the birds, outside of the stress of removal from the nest. The bands allow us to watch the returning birds, follow pairs, and track the success of the populations. Unlike banding eaglets, the adult parents are not afraid to dive-bomb our climbing team, making the necessity of helmets that much more important.
Since its initiation, the project has led to multiple successful pairs, and an increasingly healthy population in Acadia.