Efforts to get peregrine falcons to nest in Iowa continue to show success. Pat Schlarbaum of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says there are now 13 nesting peregrine falcon pairs in the state.
One of the newest nesting pairs is at the state capitol, and there’s one in McGregor that has a first-year nesting pair. Schlarbaum says the peregrines are a success story for the state. He says they had been wiped out from the Missouri River to the east coast, and they started releasing the peregrines in Cedar Rapids and later in Des Moines. Schlarbaum says the first nesting attempt came in Des Moines in 1993. Schlarbaum says the peregrines play an important role in the environment.
They are an indicator of the health of the environment and would indicate problems with heavy metals or a toxic environment. Schlarbaum says you can view one of the new nesting pair of peregrines on-line. He says you go to the non-game page of the D.N.R. website and there’s a falcon cam with images of the pair in Des Moines. Schlarbaum says the peregrines not only like to nest in the buildings or larger urban areas, but they also nest in the smokestacks of power plants.