Falcons hope to get by with a little help from friends - Metro US

Falcons hope to get by with a little help from friends

Birds of a feather flock together — and city firefighters are helping a pair of nesting peregrine falcons find a new home.

Two falcons have used the top of one of the High Level Bridge’s cement pillars as a nesting site for the past three years.

But Gordon Court, a biologist with the province, asked Fire Rescue Services for help in making the site a safer environment for the birds to raise their young.

“Every time it rains the eggs float and start to lose fertility,” Court said.

“It’s not an ideal situation.”

The solution, according to Court, is to lower a box containing a tray of gravel onto the pillars, in the hopes that the falcons will move in.

Court said peregrines disappeared from most of North America in the 1960s and 1970s as a result of pesticide pollution, but lately biologists are seeing an encouraging rise in numbers.

“We had as few as one pair in 1970, and we’re up to 68 pairs now,” he said.

“Historically we had as many as seven or eight pairs between Devon and Fort Saskatchewan.”

There are no guarantees that the birds will claim the new nests, but Court is optimistic.

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