Banding peregrine falcons is dangerous work. Reader Michael called my attention to this amazing video showing the banding (or attempted banding) of young peregrine falcon chicks at the University of Toledo. From the YouTube description:
We filmed and photographed the 2012 Peregrine falcon banding on top of the clock tower at The University of Toledo. People from The Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Wildlife visit every year to temporarily remove the falcon chicks from the nesting box, take blood samples and attach permanent numbered bands to their legs for tracking and future identification.
You’ll see why the job is so perilous: an attacking falcon has seriously large talons:
The parents (I think there are two here) are fiercely protective of their offspring (a prediction of kin selection, of course!), and the handlers need to wear hard hats and brandish “falcon shields”. Here are some pictures from their Facebook site:
This picture was taken from a helmet cam, showing the parent about to strike. Look at those extended talons!
Do these things really qualify as “chicks”? They’re scary!