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birdResearchers will be able to track the movements of  four peregrine falcon chicks throughout their lives by the bands attached to their legs Tuesday at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

The three females (Daisy, Dawn and Dempsey) and one male (Clash)—hatched earlier this spring in a nesting box located atop UW Oshkosh’s Gruenhagen Conference Center—were banded by Greg Septon of Peregrine Management and Research.

“The bands allow us to follow them for their entire lifetime,” Septon said. “We can tell how long they live and how far they migrate.”

Peregrine falcons, weighing only 2 pounds as adults with a 3-foot wingspan, are the fastest birds on the planet, striking their prey at speeds of more than 200 miles per hour. The falcons hunt smaller birds, primarily pigeons.

bird2Septon noted that the four birds appeared to be well fed and in good shape despite concern for their health following news last week that their mother, Deborah, had been injured and then captured and taken to Aves Wildlife Alliance in Neenah to recuperate.

But Talon, the father, has been putting in double duty hunting for food and raising the growing birds alone.

“He stepped it up. He certainly did,” Septon said.

Deborah has laid eggs in the Gruenhagen box since it was built and placed there by UWO’s Building and Grounds crew in March 2011. Approximately 16 chicks have hatched in the box over the years.

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