IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Amber Alert
Amber Alert - TEST

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fish & Wildlife > Nongame & Endangered Wildlife > Wildlife Diversity - Ornithology > Peregrine Falcons > Peregrine Falcon Reintroduction Program - Overview Peregrine Falcon Reintroduction Program - Overview

Peregrine FalconHabitat loss and decreased reproduction due to pesticides, such as DDT, caused drastic declines in the peregrine falcon population. By 1965, no peregrine falcons nested east of the Mississippi and western populations had declined by 90 percent. The Peregrine Fund was established by Cornell University in 1976 to study, breed and restore populations of peregrines to the United States. The first U.S. reintroduction projects began in 1974.

Through these efforts, it was discovered that urban settings are successful nesting areas as the skyscrapers mimic the peregrine's natural cliffside habitat. Indiana followed this example and began its peregrine falcon introduction project in 1991, releasing a total of sixty young falcons in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend and Evansville through 1994.

Peregrines are known to be wanderers and there is no guarantee that a peregrine released or fledged in the state will nest here as an adult. Indiana's first peregrine nesting in recent times was in 1989 in East Chicago. Both adults were part of other states' reintroduction projects.

Peregrine falcon nesting is monitored every year and most young falcons are banded with leg identification tags to help monitor their movements and survival. The number of nesting pairs in the state has slowly increased. Nests are located on buildings, under bridges, and on smokestacks along the Lake Michigan shoreline, urban areas of Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and South Bend.

Nest Boxes have been erected in appropriate sites throughout Indiana in order to attract additional nesting pairs.

Peregrine FalconPeregrine Falcon

Table 1: Peregrine Falcon Nesting in Indiana

Year
Nesting Attempts
Successful Nests
Young Fledged
1989
1
1
3
1990
2
2
3
1991
2
2
3
1992
2
2
6
1993
2
2
6
1994
2
2
8
1995
3
3
8
1996
7
6
16
1997
7
6
15
1998
8
7
15
1999
8
7
24
2000
8
8
23
2001
9
9
20
2002
10
9
27
2003
11
9
33
2004
11
10
30
2005
12
9
29
2006
13
12
30 
2007
12
10 
30 
2008
12
12 
29
2009
12
10 
26
2010
11
9
27
2011
12
11
28
2012
18
14
38 

The peregrine falcon project is funded exclusively by donations to the Nongame Fund.