Rock City is continuing its partnership with Wings to Soar in an ongoing peregrine falcon restoration project to reestablish the breed to this region. A pair of siblings, one male and one female hatched in May, have come to Rock City from a Minnesota breeder, Andy Kramer. At 33 days old upon entering a hack box at Rock City, the birds were there until their release into the wild.
“It is the male that establishes the nesting territory,” said John Stokes with Wings to Soar. “So, if we want peregrines to nest in the area again, we need males to return here. Apparently, there are enough females in the region for the males to recruit. But the state of Georgia also wants us to release some females for different bloodlines.”
The female is equipped with satellite telemetry allowing her movements to be tracked anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the eighth pair of birds and tenth peregrine release from the hacking site, bringing the total number of birds released to 18 since the project’s inception in 2006. Live from the hack box, viewers can watch the birds anytime on the webcam feed at www.seerockcity.com/birds.
Rock City is once again holding a naming contest for its social media followers to submit bird name suggestions on Facebook. The winner to be announced the day of the release, receives a pair of annual passes to see Rock City. Most of the previous names have also been chosen via social media: Garnet, Frieda, Rocky, Ted, Zenith, Chatty, Lookout, Fourscore, Orville, Wilbur, Lewis, Clark, Heckle, Jeckle, Apollo and Artemis.
Rock City Gardens is continuing a legacy of environmental efforts, sustainability and land conservation. Rock City, high atop Lookout Mountain is just six miles from downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. A consistent stewardship program has preserved Rock City Gardens as a showcase of more than 400 different wildflowers and plants native in the mountain area.
Past peregrine falcon releases from Rock City
2006: Garnet and Frieda
2010: Ted and Zenith (brothers)
2011: Chatty and Lookout (brothers)
2012: Fourscore (synonym for 80, honoring Rock City’s 80th anniversary)
2014: Orville and Wilbur (brothers)
2016: Lewis and Clark (brothers)
2017: Heckle and Jeckle (brothers)
2019: Apollo and Artemis (brother/sister)