Episode 32: Rachel Carson and the fall and rise of the peregrine falcon

  • Katie Meyer/WITF


This week on State of the State, we’re celebrating Memorial Day and the return of nice weather with a story about the impact—good and bad—people can have on the natural world.

First, a re-airing of a feature on a group of peregrine falcons living on the Rachel Carson State Office Building.

Their nest-placement seems fated.

In the 1940s and ’50s, the proliferation of DDT virtually eradicated peregrine falcons and other predatory birds from Pennsylvania. The situation only turned around in 1962, when biologist Rachel Carson published her landmark book The Silent Spring, about the harm unchecked pesticide use can do to the environment.

Since then DDT has been regulated, and falcons in Pennsylvania have nearly returned to their pre-DDT numbers.

We’ll also hear an extended interview with a group of falcon-watchers who were featured in the story, and who dedicate a significant portion of their days (and nights) to making sure the falcons stay safe.


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