Another batch of falcons hatched

File photo. ODNR
officials Scott Butterworth and Jennifer Norris band a baby falcon. (Photo: J.D.

Bowling Green’s familiar falcons returned this year and are raising four babies in the crevices of the
county courthouse.
It’s the fourth year the animals have roosted in the bell tower of the courthouse.
The babies hatched earlier this month and in a few weeks will make their first attempts at flight, said
Bill Roshak, a biologist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources who has been keeping watch over
the animals.
Banding the falcons so they can be tracked has been a popular event for spectators in years past, and
ODNR announced late last week that staff will be in town to place bands, tentatively scheduled for 2
p.m. May 27.
It was first up in the air whether ODNR would do so this year, as the Peregrine falcon has been removed
from the endangered species list and the agency is “scaling back” the banding of them, Roshak said.
“There’s a lot of interest for it up there,” he said of Bowling Green’s focus on the falcons.
There is a camera keeping watch over the birds, allowing courthouse visitors to peer into the nests high
above. The video feed was available online in previous years, but it can only be seen via a monitor in
the atrium this year. In 2013, no video was available because of the position of the nest.
Roshak said the video feed is helpful to ODNR because they can monitor how many eggs were laid and which
hatched, without disturbing the falcon family.
“The camera makes it easier this time,” he said.
Later, it will allow them to keep track of the young birds of prey as they learn to fly and hunt, which
generally begins about six to seven weeks after birth, Roshak said.
Those early experiments in flight are also a popular and comical attraction.
“They’re pretty clumsy at it at first,” Roshak said.
“They are naturally cliff nesters, so that’s why they choose taller structures and buildings to nest in.”

While the older couple will likely hang around, Roshak said their babies will probably learn to fly and
hunt here before heading to South America or the Gulf of Mexico sometime around September.

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