Windsor bird watcher wants peregrine falcons to stay on endangered list

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Windsor bird watcher wants peregrine falcons to stay on endangered list

A Windsor bird watcher believes the peregrine falcon should not be taken off the endangered species list.

Earlier this week, a federal committee recommended the birds be seen as a self-supporting species for the first time in 40 years, but Steve Atkins, a member of the Canadian Peregrine Falcon Watch, said it's not actually good news for the falcons, which still face a long road to recovery.

"It's not going to do any good whatsoever at all, because they're still on the comeback," he explained.

A pair of falcons currently roost under the Ambassador Bridge and call Windsor home. This year they had four hatchlings, according Atkins, whose volunteer group watches out for baby birds.

He pointed to the high mortality rate and burgeoning black market for the falcons, which can be easily trained when young, as reason to keep them on the list.

This year, one of the four hatchlings was hit by a car. Atkins said falcons fly low to the ground, so they face multiple hazards.

"The bird flew out through a fence and ran into the back of a car and knocked him down on the ground," he explained. "They're not like robins that have to deal with cats, raccoons and rats to survive. They just don't know."

Atkins added resources are still scare for the species — the falcon watch group relies heavily on volunteers who spend whatever time they can watching the small birds.

"I think they need to remain on the endangered species list for another three to fives years," he said. "Bring the population up more to where it is actually sustainable."