Two male peregrine falcons will be released next week from Rock City on Lookout Mountain. The two are part of what is known as a "hacking program," where young birds of prey or raised and released. In theory the birds will return to the same area where they learned to fly when they are mature enough to nest.
The two peregrines will be released Monday, July 21, around 5:30 am, just before sunrise. The birds are brothers from Hastings, Minnesota and 39 days old today.
âAt 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,â said Dale Stokes with Wings to Soar. âThey 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.â 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!
This 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 here
Rock City Gardens believes in continuing its environmental efforts, sustainability, land conservation and stewardship. A continual beautification program has preserved Rock City Gardens as a showcase of more than 400 different wildflowers and plants native in the mountain area.