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Published: Tuesday, 5/27/2014 - Updated: 1 month ago

Officials band 2 new peregrine falcons at UT

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Officials from the Division of Wildlife Jennifer Norris, left, and Bill Roshak, right, handle Dr. Jane, one of the two newborn peregrine falcons on the campus of the University of Toledo. Officials from the Division of Wildlife Jennifer Norris, left, and Bill Roshak, right, handle Dr. Jane, one of the two newborn peregrine falcons on the campus of the University of Toledo.
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The University of Toledo today welcomed the birth of two baby peregrine falcons, birds that were nowhere to be found in the Midwest states by the 1980s.

Biologists from Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife climbed the steep bell tower, attached to University Hall, where the birds‘ nests are located, and fetched the two newborns. The birds were brought outside where Jennifer Norris, a wildlife research biologist and her staff could fit the newborns with tiny ankle bracelets that can help researchers identify the birds.

“In 1988 we found the first nesting pair in Ohio,” said Ms. Norris, noting the species was reintroduced to the state. “There is 28 pair that are nesting [in Ohio] which is great, but that’s not a lot.”

The birds‘ population dwindled to zero in some areas of the country because of the use of pesticides that made their eggs very brittle, officials said.

More than 60 students, university employees, and Toledo area residents gathered around the Student Union to listen to Ms. Norris’ short presentation, and to take a peek at the birds.

Jennifer Norris of the Division of Wildlife checks the newly attached bands on Tennant, a male peregrine falcon born on May 8. Jennifer Norris of the Division of Wildlife checks the newly attached bands on Tennant, a male peregrine falcon born on May 8.
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Daniel Johnson was one of several employees who stepped outside to snap pictures and catch a glimpse of the fluffy white baby birds, one that is 21 days old and the other 16 days old.

“I was just interested in what was happening out here,” Mr. Johnson said. “The birds have been calling the bell tower home for about 7 years now. We even use the tower and birds as a recruiting tool now because it looks like Hogwarts,” making a reference to the Harry Potter series.

A total of 24 peregrine falcons have been born at the tower since 2007, school and DNR officials said.

Contact Federico Martinez at fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.



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