Three years after he helped raise six Peregrine falcons, Ball State professor Tom Morrell has recently received word that one of them is currently nesting in Davenport, Iowa.
The biology professor, along with several Ball State students from the Muncie chapter of The Wildlife Society, raised the falcons as part of an effort to increase the population of the animal, which was at one time on the endangered species list.
"It was great news to hear that one of our birds was reproducing," Morrell said. "Not only am I happy for the falcon but for the people who worked hard in pulling this off."
The idea to raise the falcons came in 1996, when the city of Muncie was cutting down trees in an attempt to reduce pest and bird problems in the downtown area.
Ball State students from the Muncie chapter of The Wildlife Society approached Morrell about ways to help solve the problem without cutting trees. As a joke, Morrell suggested releasing falcons because they prey upon small birds.
The students took him seriously.
Morrell said although the trees had already been cut down, the students were still interested in helping raise baby falcons because they were endangered.