Here at OutdoorHub, we have a bit of a soft spot for peregrine falcons. Primarily due to watching the Live Falcon Cam on CarbonTV, (view below) but beyond that, peregrine falcons are among the more famous and popular birds in both Michigan and the world.
With that being said, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources is reporting some excellent news for the falcon population in the state of Michigan.
Michigan DNR reports that the peregrine falcon population in southeast Michigan has expanded from five young birds, to 15 nesting pairs that raised 30 birds in 2016.
According to the DNR, peregrines are considered an endangered species in Michigan, so monitoring them is a key component to their restoration. The peregrine falcon population took a sharp decline in the 1960s due to DDT, a pesticide that caused the shell of their eggs to become extremely fragile.
Michigan began its peregrine recovery efforts in 1986. In 1993, the peregrines in Michigan began reproducing successfully, and in 2016, there were over 50 nest sites in the entire state; 29 of them produced chicks and 13 of those were in southeast Michigan.
“The peregrine falcon recovery in southeast Michigan is a true conservation success story,” said Christine Becher, southeast Michigan peregrine falcon nesting coordinator for the DNR. “One thing we must all remember is that we share the same ecosystem with peregrine falcons, and if southeast Michigan is cleaner for peregrine falcons, it is cleaner for all of us.”
Peregrines are crow-sized, with a wingspan of 36-44 inches. Adults have slate-gray backs and barred breasts, while immature birds have brown backs and heavily streaked breasts. All peregrines have prominent cheek (“moustache”) marks on either side of their head. As is true in most species of “birds of prey”, the female is larger than the male: females average 32 ounces in weight, while males average only 22 ounces.