Author Topic: UND Tower - 2017 / Marv & Terminator  (Read 1437 times)

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Offline Alison

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Re: UND Tower - 2017 / Marv & Terminator
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2017, 10:37 »
Very sad news from the Grand Forks nest today.

Peregrine chick found dead in nest box

By Brad Dokken  on Jul 18, 2017 at 3:56 p.m.

Tim Driscoll suspected something was wrong when the oldest of the three peregrine falcon chicks hatched this spring atop the UND water tower simply disappeared.

A licensed bander and raptor expert, Driscoll, of Grand Forks, banded the peregrine in early June, naming him Carl after Carl Barrentine, an associate professor emeritus of humanities and integrated studies at UND.

The young peregrine was within days of fledging when he disappeared in late June, and a climber who scaled the tower Thursday, July 13, to check the nest box confirmed the worst, Driscoll said.

The peregrine chick was dead, its carcass badly decomposed.

"Based on what we know about when he hatched, he was about 37 days old when he disappeared," Driscoll said.

What isn't known is how the peregrine chick died. It could have eaten poisoned prey, but parents Marv and Terminator appear to be fine, as do Carl's younger siblings, Chan and Julie, Driscoll said; west Nile virus is another possibility.

Driscoll says he usually takes blood samples when he bands the peregrine chicks but decided against it this year because of the large crowd that turned out for the June 12 public banding event.

"Had we taken blood, we would have been testing for west Nile right now," Driscoll said. "He had plumage flies when we banded him, but that is not normally a lethal thing."

Chan and Julie have taken their maiden flights, Driscoll said, adding he saw the chicks and their parents Monday. Chan is named for Chandler Robbins, an influential American ornithologist who died in March at age 98. Julie is named after Julie LeFever, longtime director of North Dakota's geological core library at UND who died in December.

Carl is the second peregrine chick to be found dead in the nest box since Terminator first nested in Grand Forks in 2008. Helen, hatched in 2015 and named for Helen Hamilton, the first woman to graduate from the UND School of Law, met a similar fate.

Like many other banders, Driscoll names the birds he bands because it's easier to remember a name than a band number.

Since 2008, 29 peregrine chicks have hatched in Grand Forks, and Driscoll says he knows of eight casualties, including the two found dead in the nest box. At the same time, three chicks have been confirmed breeders in Winnipeg, St. Paul and most recently Moorhead, where Walsh, hatched in 2012 in Grand Forks, is the tending male of a nest that's new this year, Driscoll said.

In related peregrine news, Rand, the chick from the first-ever nest to be confirmed in Crookston, has been seen flying, Driscoll said. Rand is the first name of noted writer and conservationist Aldo Leopold, who went by his middle name.

Poor little chick. He did not even have a chance to fledge or to fly with his siblings.  :'(

Offline Alison

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Re: UND Tower - 2017 / Marv & Terminator
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2017, 00:17 »
News of one of the 2016 juvies from the Grand Forks nest:

Rehabbed Grand Forks peregrine lands permanent home in Winnipeg

By Brad Dokken  Today at 8:23 a.m.

GRAND FORKS, N.D.—A peregrine falcon hatched in 2016 atop the University of North Dakota water tower and named after Grand Forks birding authority Dave Lambeth has a new permanent home.

In Winnipeg.

David, as the peregrine chick was dubbed in June 2016 when he was banded by local raptor expert Tim Driscoll, now is a resident of Parkland Mews Falconry and Bird of Prey Education Centre, a facility on the outskirts of Winnipeg that runs a breeding and education program using birds of prey that recover from injury but can't be released back to the wild.

Webster's New World Dictionary defines a mew as "a cage for hawks, especially when molting."

Driscoll said he spoke in early November with Robert Wheeldon of Parkland Mews about David's condition.

"David has a calcified wrist (the first joint on the wing)," Driscoll said. "He can hunt and catch live prey, but he can't fly well enough to be released."

In a phone interview, Wheeldon said David was found in late September in a residential area of St. Boniface, a Winnipeg suburb near the Red River.

Band numbers quickly traced him back to Driscoll's banding effort in June 2016.

David was taken to Parkland Mews, where Wheeldon determined the bird had an injured right wing and sent him to Wildlife Haven, a Winnipeg wildlife rehab facility, where David spent the next several weeks.

David returned to Parkland Mews on Nov. 7, Wheeldon said, and now is doing "extremely well."

"I've got him flying up vertically," Wheeldon said. "Initially, he could barely hop from a low perch on the ground to a boulder. He's flying up 8 feet to a perch, and he can do that no problem at all. He'll build muscle to compensate for the wing injury."

Uncertain journey

David's flight path to Winnipeg isn't certain, but after leaving Grand Forks in the fall of 2016, he likely migrated to the southern U.S. before heading north this past spring.

Young peregrines tend to return to the area they were hatched, and David likely spent the summer flying and hunting between Grand Forks and Winnipeg before he was injured, according to Tracy Maconachie, project coordinator of Manitoba's Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project.

"He was doing exactly what has happened before" with peregrines from Grand Forks and Fargo, she said.

Most likely, David collided with something while hunting near the river, Maconachie said.

"David went down in a residential area where there are no tall buildings," she said. "We have no idea why he went down. There's no kind of trouble he could get into because there are no buildings to hit.

"He was probably hunting over the river going after ducks or gulls and misjudged the wind. It doesn't take much. They're fragile little things—strong and tough as nails, but fragile nonetheless. There's only so much G-force, so much sheer pressure you can put on a wing."

Favorable outcome

At Parkland Mews, Wheeldon puts out live prey for David and other peregrines to hunt and catch, he said. Because one of David's wings is shorter than the other, he won't have the maneuverability needed to hunt and survive in the wild, Wheeldon said.

"David's well on the way to the best recovery that could be hoped for, and there's anticipation he could be paired for breeding," he said.

If they're compatible, a female onsite named Gracie would be David's mate, Wheeldon said. They would join five other peregrine pairs already breeding at Parkland Mews, he said.

David also has a family connection to Parkland Mews. His great-great grandfather, Caleb, and great-grandfather, Beau, also live at Parkland Mews, Wheeldon said.

"It's interesting that both birds, Beau and David, were wild produced but ended up here by being injured in Winnipeg," Wheeldon said.

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