Posted: Jul 14, 2012 9:49 PM by Rachel Cole - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Jul 14, 2012 9:50 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI -- Get ready birders of the coastal bend, wildlife officials released 23 falcons at Mustang Island State Park Saturday afternoon. The hope is to re-populate the South Texas area with Apolmado Falcons.
Apolmado, meaning dark grey is the color of the young falcons. They were flown in on a donated flight by Carl Mattson and Julie Boyd from Denver, CO. The birds had a long trip over from Boise, Id, where they are captive bred and raised until ready for release.
Biologist Brian Mutch said the falcons had been extinct in this part of the world since 1986. Saturday was the very first release on Mustang Island for this species in the gulf coast.
"This is favorable habitat, they need these coastal prairies this grosch land is what they like to live in and hunt in and they need this kind of habitat," Mutch said.
Experts said, Mustang Island is great for the new hack sites built for the birds. The hack sites are temporary nesting grounds, for the falcons. Mutch said a team of attendants look after the birds while they get adjusted to their new habitats. Several of the falcons will also be monitored with transmitter bands that are attached to their feet.
"Some of these are satellite marked with a satellite transmitter which are solar powered, that could potentially last years," Mutch said.
The Wildlife officials said they read the bands and keep track of all their behavior and monitor their eating patterns. Attendants said these falcons primarily eat smaller birds and insects and will usually lay 2 or 3 eggs.
With Corpus Christi known as the 'birdiest' city in the United States, this is just one more addition to watch for.
The recovery effort experts said these birds travel 200 and 300 miles from their sites, so birders be ready to see the new falcons soaring through the coastal bend.
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