Peregrines comeback to levels not seen for almost a half-century.
After nearly three decades of trying to save peregrines, the bird is making a comeback to levels not seen for almost a half-century.
Last summer, when surveyors checked 158 of the 172 sites in which peregrines once nested in Alberta, they found that 68 of them were occupied - a startling comeback considering only one nesting pair remained in Alberta in 1970.
Even better was the news that two-thirds of these birds were nesting in natural cliff nests. The rest had set themselves up on bridges and on buildings in cities such as Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer.
The latest cause for celebration is the discovery this year that DDT in peregrine eggs is down to levels that are no longer harmful; the widely used pesticide once thinned the eggs to the point where chicks could not be successfully hatched.
Emergency efforts to save the peregrine from extinction began with a government commitment to survey nest sites from coast to coast every five years.
In addition, young birds were taken from the few active nests that remained, and biologists and falconers were given the resources to breed them in captivity at a facility at the Canadian Forces Base near Wainwright.