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At least one peregrine hatches at UND water tower

Dave Lambeth of Grand Forks took this photo of Marv (bottom), a male peregrine that first showed up in Grand Forks in 2014, and an unidentified female in March 2016 at the UND water tower. Lambeth and local raptor expert Tim Driscoll identified Marv by the bird's black and red leg band. (Dave Lambeth photo)

GRAND FORKS—The peregrine falcons nesting atop the University of North Dakota water tower appear to have at least one baby, observers say.

Parents are Marv, the patriarch of Grand Forks peregrines since 2014, and an unbanded female that showed up this spring in place of Terminator, who had produced every peregrine chick since 2008 when she first nested in Grand Forks. Terminator didn't return to the nest box this year, so the speculation is she died.

Local raptor expert and licensed bander Tim Driscoll, who keeps close watch on the local peregrines, said the female is sitting higher in the nest box, a subtle change in body language that suggests she has at least one chick. Marv also is providing prey and sits closer to her when he's at the tower, Driscoll said.

"It's too soon to tell" how many babies are in the nest box, Driscoll said. "They need to get bigger so their heads go up over the rail."

Figuring the hatch occurred May 31 or June 1, Driscoll said he tentatively will plan to band the chick—or chicks—sometime around June 20, give or take a few days.

Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken is a reporter and editor of the Herald's Sunday Northland Outdoors pages. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University. 

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