ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., May 23 (UPI) -- The Atlantic Club Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., carried out what has become an annual rite Tuesday, banding peregrine falcon chicks.
This year, a pair of falcons nesting on a ledge outside the 23rd-floor penthouse produced four offspring, The Press of Atlantic City reported Tuesday. Mel Thompson, the casino hotel's head butler, who has been helping with the banding for 25 years, said the group is one of the largest he has seen.
Thompson's job was to keep the parents away from the nest while Kathy Clark, a zoologist with the New Jersey Non-Game and Endangered Species Program, scooped up the 3-week-old chicks and banded them inside the penthouse.
The first falcons nested at the casino in 1985 when it was the Golden Nugget. Since then, the building has been the Bally's Grand, the Hilton and now the Atlantic Club, but the falcons keep coming back.
"It looks like a natural cliff edge," Thompson said. "And the migrating birds go right by."
Clark said the current female first arrived in 1998 and is only the second one to nest on the ledge. The female is reaching the end of her reproductive years.
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