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Peregrine falcon chicks to be banded on May 23.

Falcons may be viewed on Westar Energy’s website.

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TOPEKA, Kan., May 15, 2014 — Media are invited to Westar Energy’s General Office at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 23 at 818 S. Kansas Ave., Topeka, to see the banding of this year’s peregrine falcon chicks. We will gather in the lobby at that time for questions and answers about the banding, and then the group will proceed to the roof for the procedure. Brad Loveless will be the contact the day of the banding. Brad’s cell phone number is 785-633-2118.

Come out and meet the three healthy chicks of falcon couple, Nemaha and Boreas, who have produced offspring for the fourth consecutive year atop Westar’s general office. Last spring, the couple produced four healthy chicks, and our information indicates that they are all still doing fine.

This year, a total of four eggs were laid, but one was not able to hatch. The three remaining chicks are healthy due to the hunting expertise of their parents and downtown Topeka’s abundant populations of pigeons and starlings—their principal prey.

Presently, we believe two of the baby falcons are females and one is a male. The gender of the bird is indicated by its band and may be determined by looking at the size of each chick’s feet. Since adult female peregrines are about 50 percent larger than the males, foot size at 18-21 days is, usually, a reliable indicator of gender. Brad said, “We’ll do our best to determine the gender of each bird but at this early age, we may not be certain at banding time.” Determining each bird's gender is important because the differential sizes of males and females mean that females get larger bands.

Due to increases in the peregrine population, this species was removed from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s threatened species list in 1999, and its numbers continue to expand.

Westar asks that viewers keep in mind that the falcons are wild creatures, and their success rate in the first year is less than 50 percent. Falcons may be viewed on our Falcon cam at WestarEnergy.com/falcons.

Any falcon watcher may submit a name on Westar Energy’s Facebook post. Please provide the name and reason you selected it. Entries must be received by Friday, May 23. A panel will narrow the list of names. Members of the Westar Energy Green Team will select the final names.

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Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is Kansas’ largest electric utility. For more than a century, we have provided Kansans the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. Every day our team of professionals takes on projects to generate and deliver electricity, protect the environment and provide excellent service to our nearly 700,000 customers. Westar has 7,200 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by coal, uranium, natural gas, wind and landfill gas. We are also a leader in electric transmission in Kansas. Our innovative customer service programs include mobile-enabled customer care, a smart meter pilot project and paving the way for electric vehicle adoption. Our employees live, volunteer and work in the communities we serve.

For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at WestarEnergy.com. Westar Energy is on Facebook: Facebook.com/YourWestar and Twitter: Twitter.com/WestarEnergy.

Media Contact:
Gina Penzig
Director, corporate communications
Phone: 785-575-8089
Gina.Penzig@westarenergy.com
Media line: 888-613-0003

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