You may’ve seen peregrine falcons flying among the tall buildings of some Iowa cities, and they’re now turning up in the wild. Pat Schlarlbaum works with the falcons in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife diversity program. He says we have two wild-nesting pairs along the bluffs of the Mississippi. Schlarbaum says the wild nesting came after the peregrines were successfully reintroduced into the cities. He says it was felt that there might be a crossover of the young falcons produced in urban settings. But, he says the young falcons were “imprinting” on their surroundings and not leaving, so they instituted a program to introduce them into the wild. Schlarbaum says another drawback to the urban peregrine program was the high mortality rate.He says 60 to 70-percent of the bird did not survive their first year after running into railings and windows. He says the birds also face other aerial predators in the wild, so those that do survive truly run the gauntlet of life’s challenges, and he says that makes their survival impressive. Schlarbaum says the birds had been wiped out by the use of the chemical D-D-T, and reintroducing them into the state is important. On a practical level, he says they’re an excellent indicator of the health of our environment by their presence. Schlarbaum calls the recovery of the bird a great success story. He says the recovery’s been slow and gradual, but says “it’s a spark of good fortune.”