Two New Peregrine Falcons To Be Released From Rock City

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
The two peregrine falcons yet to be named – check out Rock City’s Facebook page to suggest names at
The two peregrine falcons yet to be named – check out Rock City’s Facebook page to suggest names at

Two male peregrine falcons are in a hack box at Rock City, preparing to be released into the wild on Monday around 5:30 a.m., just before sunrise. These birds are brothers from Hastings, Mn, and 41 days old today.

“At the time of their release, they will have spent almost two weeks in the hack box to give them a chance to sharpen their hunting skills,” said Dale Stokes with Wings to Soar. “They will also be tracked with a telemetry device. The falcons typically hang around this area for one to two weeks before they begin migrating towards Central America.

Wings to Soar has led this peregrine release program at Rock City since 2006, when the first peregrines Garnet and Frieda were released (fitting names after Rock City’s founders). Since then, six other peregrines have flown from the hacking site: Rocky, Ted, Zenith, Chatty, Lookout and Fourscore, most of the names chosen by Facebook followers. Once again, Rock City is encouraging its social media followers to help name these two brothers ( 

John and Dale Stokes host the Rock City Raptors Birds of Prey Shows every Friday through Sunday during the summer through Labor Day, and return during Rocktoberfest. “Rollergirl” is the name of a peregrine being added to the show starting this weekend, and she is the grandmother of these two new falcons.

The peregrine release program is an ongoing project for Rock City Gardens and is the seventh hacking effort on Lookout Mountain since 1993. Find out more at

Tellico Hatchery Announces Winter Hours

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency announced winter hours for the Tellico Hatchery in Tellico Plains. Holidays along with hours of daylight and alterations in operations are the primary reasons for changes. Fish eat less during colder months. This reason, along with a reduction of seasonal responsibilities such as mowing grass and hatchery upkeep, means fewer people on staff. ... (click for more)

Wildlife Officer Pete Geesling Honored In Veterans Day Observance Ceremony

Brandon “Pete” Geesling, a wildlife officer for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in Warren County, was one of five veteran state employees recognized during a Veterans Day observance event held at the Tennessee Tower Plaza.     Previously, Mr. Geesling served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a combat engineer which included a deployment ... (click for more)

Residents Concerned Over 7-Story Building On The Southside

Downtown Chattanooga residents expressed their concerns with the proposed seven-story apartment building on Cowart Street on the Southside at Tuesday night’s City Council Meeting. The apartment building, originally zoned at four stories before Belle Investment petitioned for seven, has not been adequately publicized, residents claimed.   Architect and planning professional ... (click for more)

Commissioner Graham Chides Chairman Bankston For Shredding Arts Cigarette Tax Letter; Says Sunshine Law Violated

County Commissioner Joe Graham on Wednesday chided Chairman Chester Bankston for shredding a letter related to the proposed cigarette tax to aid the arts. "Have you shredded any other county legal documents?" he demanded. Chairman Bankston replied, "No, I have not done that." He said the letter did not get the necessary six signatures to forward to the Legislature. ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)