LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Ga. — 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 on May 2, was sent to Rock City from a Minnesota breeder, Andy Kramer.
“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.”
At 33 days old upon entering a hack box at Rock City, the birds remained there until their release into the wild on June 19.
Just minutes after their box was opened, a male bird named Gnomeo took flight. Several hours later, the female, Georgia, took flight as well. Both have been tracked in the area since and are reportedly both doing well.
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 10th 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. 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.