PORTLAND — A popular pair of wild peregrine falcons have been banded in Portland by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists.

IFW staff recently was joined by associates from the BioDiversity Institute and the Maine Department of Transportation to band peregrine falcon chicks and collect data from a popular nesting site along a Portland bridge.

“It’s part of an ongoing monitoring program to keep track of individual birds,” said IFW Wildlife Biologist Judy Camuso. “We want to learn as much as we can about where they live and how long they live, and about where they travel and how they move.”

Peregrine falcons were recently de-listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, though they remain endangered in Maine. Fewer than 30 pairs of nesting adults occupy the state.

The birds are among the fastest on the planet, able to reach speeds of 175 mph.

“It’s an aggressive bird with unbelievable aerial acrobatic abilities,” Camuso said. “They fly extremely fast, and they knock their prey out of the air to kill them. They’re exciting to watch.

“It’s our responsibility as an agency to make sure they are able to breed and live successfully in the state.”

This marks the fourth year that biologists visited the Portland nesting site, unusual for its proximity to humans.