5/11/2001

DNR BANDS LEGS OF FOUR FORT WAYNE FALCONS

FORT WAYNE, Ind., May 11, 2001 - American Electric Power (AEP) served as host today for the banding of the four peregrine falcon chicks that hatched last month in the nesting box on the roof of One Summit Square, the city’s tallest building. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) placed metal identification bands on the legs of the falcon chicks during the 10 a.m. event. The bands will help the DNR keep track of the young birds as they migrate late this summer or in the fall.

John Castrale of the Indiana Department of Natural Resouces holds one of the peregrine falcons before banding it.

The banding of the chicks was performed by DNR wildlife biologists John Castrale and Amy Ferchak, who noted the banding had to be done now because the fledglings will begin to test their wings within the next three weeks and would be difficult to capture. Their first flights will be short ones around One Summit Square and to surrounding buildings. In addition to the banding, the sex of the chicks was determined.

The chicks named Edison, Charger, Electron and Kilowatt, hatched over the weekend of April 20-22, and are the offspring of Freedom and Roosevelt. Freedom, the mother, was released in Evansville by the DNR in 1994 as part of the Indiana peregrine falcon restoration project. Roosevelt was wild born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1995. The pair has been nesting atop One Summit Square since 1997 and Freedom raised chicks with another male the previous year.

The Fort Wayne adult pair is only the second to settle in an urban area of Indiana. A pair has been nesting on top of Market Tower in Indianapolis since 1995. Other pairs of peregrine falcons are nesting in Indiana this year along the Lake Michigan shore. Additional pairs have been seen in Kokomo and Terre Haute this year as well.

Although peregrine falcons in the wild choose nesting spots on high cliffs, they have adapted to urban areas where they can settle on tall buildings.

In August 1999, peregrine falcons were taken off the federal endangered species list. However, the falcons are still protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and they remain on the State of Indiana’s endangered species list.

American Electric Power is a multinational energy company based in Columbus, Ohio. AEP owns and operates more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity, making it one of America’s largest generators of electricity. The company is also a leading wholesale energy marketer and trader, ranking second in the U.S. in electricity volume. AEP provides retail electricity to more than 7 million customers worldwide and has more than $45 billion in assets, primarily in the U.S. with holdings in select international markets. Wholly owned subsidiaries are involved in power engineering and construction services, energy management and telecommunications.

Susan Banta
Corporate Communications Manager
American Electric Power
219/425-2133

Kathy Quimbach
Nongame Information Specialist
Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife
317/232-4080

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