Stories seem to be emerging from the US of high levels of fire retardant chemicals being found in the eggs of peregrine falcons, after samples were analysed from birds in San Jose, California. One can't help wondering how widespread this could turn out to be, or even if there could be a repeat of damage to top predators from the chemicals we casually put into the environment, just as there was through the use of DDT in the 1950s and 1960s. You can read more by following these links:
Either way, because of its position at the top of the food chain, the peregrine falcon could once again prove to be a valuable indicator of the state of our environment. The work of individual enthusiasts and ornithologists can be most useful in this task. Shown below is a "hatchtable" compiled by one peregrine enthusiast, Froona, in Holland which shows the nesting performance of peregrines in various parts of the Europe and North America. The four chicks that recently hatched in Columbus, Ohio are the only additions to add to these nest results for 2008. Interestingly, no eggs hatched there last year, so it's important never to rush to draw conclusions about breeding success without firm evidence, carefully collected and studied.