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At some point while bird watching, either on television or just in the park, we have all noticed those small tags that often adorn the legs of our feathered friends. This process of tagging birds is actually called banding and there is a perfect example of the importance of banding right here in Pennsylvania.

There was a rapid decline in Peregrine Falcons spanning three decades, from the 1940's until early in the 1970's, as a result of massive quantities of pesticides being introduced into the environment. It was not until 1996 that an opportunity to reintroduce the Peregrine Falcon to Pennsylvania became an attainable goal. Since that time the total number of falcons has increased from zero to ten nesting pairs.

By taking care not to infringe upon it's habitat with the mistakes of the past we have begun to see an increase in falcon population, not only in Pennsylvania, but across the country. The numbers of this state endangered species have swelled to over 1600 nesting pairs in the United Sates and Canada, but their existence is still quite fragile. With the information received through banding the Peregrine Falcon will hopefully flourish again in Pennsylvania.

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