MDC bands a bonus peregrine falcon in Kansas City

News from the region
Kansas City
Published Date

Kansas City, Mo. – The Peregrine falcon nesting season was almost over this spring when biologists made a pleasant discovery. A falcon pair had hatched young late in the nesting season at Commerce Tower in downtown Kansas City. The building’s roof had been the site of the first falcon restoration release by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in the metro area in 1991, and the site of the first successful nest in 1997 on a ledge a few stories below the roof. But falcons had not nested there the past two years.  

Biologists got another surprise on Tuesday, July 6, when a young male falcon flew into an open window at the office building. The bird was rescued by Joe DeBold, MDC urban wildlife biologist, and Luke Miller and Micah Glover of the USDA Wildlife Services division. The young male had fledged this summer from the nest at Commerce Tower.

Rescuers took the bird to MDC’s Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City where it was examined. Leg bands were attached, which help biologists track falcon movements and survival. The Commerce Tower nest is inaccessible to biologists, so this was an unusual chance to band a bird from that nest. The falcon was not injured, so it was released on the roof of Commerce Tower.

“It was cool to get to see that bird,” DeBold said. “It was in really good shape.”

MDC and conservation partners also monitored successful falcon nests this year high on smokestacks at KCP&L’s Iatan Power Plant, Sibley Power Plant and Hawthorne Power Plant. A nest was also successful at American Century’s office building near the Country Club Plaza.

Peregrine falcons originally nested on cliffs and bluffs. They are endangered in Missouri.

For more information on falcons or other watchable wildlife, visit