Both Dodd and Tech JV Coach Dick Bestwick also felt it might be even better to move kickoffs to the 35. Said Dodd, "Maybe it should be the 35 for the colleges and the 30 for the pros." He now wants to try it in a varsity game. Sounds like a fine idea.
Good news for the pals of the peregrine! Researchers at Cornell University believe they have whipped the pesticide problem that has reduced the falcon to an endangered species throughout the United States. The problem, of course, is that peregrines and other predatory birds at the top of the food chain have been getting so much DDT and other hard pesticides in their natural food that their eggs become thin-shelled and often break before hatching. Starting in the spring of 1971, Cornell's Peregrine Fund birdmen began an attempt at raising them. Their breeding stock, which now numbers 38 birds, is housed in the "hawk barn," a two-story, 220-foot-long building that looks out through wire onto woods.
Fed entirely on "clean food"—mainly chickens and quail which themselves have had no pesticides in their diets—the falcons mate in their artificial aeries and scratch out their "scrapes" in the gravel of the ledges. The female produces from three to five pinkish-tan, brown-flecked, chicken-sized eggs. By removing the eggs each time a clutch is laid it is possible to get the birds to "recycle" and lay again. Three breeding pairs this spring produced 26 normal-shelled eggs, from which 20 chicks were raised.
"With the DDT ban in effect nationally," says Dr. Tom Cade, the fund's director, "the environment is cleaning itself up more quickly than we had anticipated. We hope to begin releasing birds this spring, and if our field tests on the feasibility of this method of artificial breeding work out, I think we can have the peregrine firmly reestablished in eastern North America by 1980." The technique will work only if the environment remains relatively free of pesticides, and the only fly in the ointment is that a major proportion of the birds migrate each winter to Latin America, where DDT is used copiously. But that fact is countered by the success Cade and his co-workers have had with the peregrine and other birds of prey, including the prairie falcon, red-tailed hawk, goshawk, Harris's hawk and even the golden eagle. Keep 'em flying. Dr. Cade.