Young Peregrine Falcon Named and Banded

June  03, 2014

      One of downtown Davenport's newest residents, a young peregrine falcon, was officially named and banded today. Her name is Marta, and she was born to Scorpio and PD in a nest atop the MidAmerican Energy building in May.

      Pat Schlarbaum, from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), says peregrine falcons were on the edge of extinction in Iowa twenty years ago.  He says Marta's parents, Scorpio and PD, are the oldest peregrine falcon pair in the state. 

      "They were the fourth or fifth nesting pair. Now we're up to 17. They'll average maybe 2.7 young, and there's going to be a lot of falcons flying, and there has been. You know, everything in nature has it's day in the sun."

      Davenport has plenty of cool bridges where the birds can nest, and plenty of pigeons for them to eat. But he says a changing environment could always put the species at risk again, which is why the DNR places a band around the birds' ankles to track them. Schlarbaum says it's nice to give the birds names, but they're still the wildest of the wild birds.

      "So we do this, you know, we want to connect, but we don't want to make them pets if you will. It's bettter off if they stay wild. That's what they do best."

      Scorpio and PD started to nest set up their nest on top of the MidAmerican Energy building in 2002. Marta is expected to start learning to fly within the next few weeks. 

      Another falcon pair is nesting on the I-80 bridge.