By Senior Airman Stephen Underwood , 439th AW
/ Published June 10, 2021
James Streeter, USDA wildlife biologist, holds a peregrine falcon chick rescued from the ISO-dock at Westover Air Reserve Base, M.A., June 3, 2021.
Members from the 439th Mission Support Group and the U.S. Department of Agriculture raise a lift to remove three baby Peregrine Falcons from the ISO-dock at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts, June 3, 2021. The falcons have used the building as nesting ground for the last five years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Auger)
Three peregrine falcon chicks await transport from Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts to the University of Massachusetts Lowell campus, June 3, 2021. The chicks will be monitored by state wildlife biologists until old enough the leave their new nest. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Auger)
John Cody, 439th Mission Support Group environmental engineer, holds one of the three peregrine falcons taken down from an ISO-dock ledge at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts, June 3, 2021. When fully grown, peregrine falcons have a max diving speed of 240 miles per hour. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Auger)
Christina Dejarnette, 439th Mission Support Group environmental engineer inter, holds onto one of the peregrine falcon chicks she helped recover on Westover Aire Reserve Base, Massachusetts, June 3, 2021. The chicks were relocated for their safety and the safety of Westover's C-5M fleet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Auger)
On June 3, members of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife worked together to transfer three baby peregrine falcons from Westover to the University of Massachusetts Lowell campus.
“I thought there would just be one chick,” James Streeter, United States Department of Agriculture wildlife biologist, said. “I was really surprised when I saw three.”
Over the past 5 years, peregrine falcons have used Westover’s ISO-dock as a nesting area.
The chicks were removed from the nest after they hatched for the birds’ and aircraft safety.
Streeter and John Cody, 439th Mission Support Group environmental engineer, took part in the rescue operation.
“It was a big group effort to get this done,” Cody said. “To get the high lift ready to go and then coordinate with both the USDA and Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife. This was a multi-group effort.”
Peregrine falcons, once on the endangered species list, are a federally protected species.
Christina Dejarnette, 439th MSG environmental engineer intern, never thought rescuing baby falcons would be part of the job description.
“I am really fortunate I have been able to take part in this opportunity,” Dejarnette said. “It’s been a really neat experience.”
All three baby chicks will be monitored by a state wildlife biologist until they can be released safely back into the wild.
For more information about the birds, and to watch a live feed of these rescued falcons, please visit https://www.uml.edu/falcons/