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It's a pleasant day as I travel up to the top of City Hall in Philadelphia. I meet Dan Brauning, a Wildlife Biologist of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, there as he is preparing his equipment for today's banding. I figure that the whole process will be rather run of the mill until everyone starts putting on batting helmets and protective goggles. That's when I become a little more tentative. Once everything is set the open the door and begin to move outside. The skyline is beautiful from this point, but that's not what we are looking at. To the left among one of City Hall's pillars stands a nest of the Peregrine Falcon and a very protective parent standing watchfully by. As Dan Brauning moves towards the nest I soon realize the importance of the safety gear as the adult falcon begins swooping at the small congregation of us as defense for it's defenseless eyas. Dan holds they young eyas carefully and carries it quickly inside to begin the banding. We all follow in a hurry, ready to escape the angry parent.

First the bird was weighed and checked for sex and then the bands are swiftly applied to provide the least amount of stress necessary to the birds. There are two bands placed on by Dan. One band is a small metallic ring and the other is a larger colored band that provides the vital statistics of the bird.



The whole process is done in a matter of minutes and when the eyas is replaced in the nest the much angrier falcon that was left outside shortly calms down and everything resumes to normal. It was a job well done by Dan and his team and because of them Pennsylvania is a little bit safer for Peregrine Falcons.


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