Author Topic: UND Tower - 2015 / Marv & Terminator  (Read 19226 times)

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Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2015, 11:20 »
I have a photo of Marv as an adult somewhere I think, will check when I'm home this evening.

Offline Alison

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2015, 22:58 »
I hope that someone will be able to take photos of Marv this year in his adult plumage.

He was a handsome juvie, and I'm sure he is a very handsome tiercel.

Photo of Marv in 2014 by Dave Lambeth.



Offline Alison

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2015, 23:49 »
Part IV

Peregrine Falcon Facts

Other amazing information about peregrine falcons:

• Peregrines are among the fastest creatures alive. They are capable of sustained flight of 50 to 60 mph. In short bursts, they can reach more than 80 mph, and in hunting dives, they've been timed at more than 200 mph.

• Peregrines are the most cosmopolitan of all birds. They occur on every continent except Antarctica and on every other substantial land mass except New Zealand and Antarctica.

• Peregrine falcons do not build nests. Rather, they use scrapes or ledges on cliffs, or in Grand Forks and other cities, nest boxes placed by humans.

• Peregrines that nest in the Arctic typically migrate, sometimes as far as southern South America and southern Africa. Yet other peregrines are essentially sedentary. Peregrines in coastal California are so regular that birders are pretty much certain to see them any day of the year. Falcons that breed in Britain seldom leave the islands, but Scandinavian falcons spend winters in southeastern Britain.

• Generations of falcon families use the same nesting site, called an eyrie. One such site in Scotland has been occupied continuously since the 13th century.

• There are about 20 subspecies of peregrines, but blood lines have become mixed during the recovery effort, when Arctic birds were bred to other subspecies from around the world.

• The peregrine and its close relatives were regarded as manifestations of divinity in ancient Egypt, and the pharaoh was closely identified with the figure of a falcon and with the falcon-headed god named Horus.

• In the current bestselling book "H is for Hawk," Helen Macdonald writes, "In ancient shamanic traditions right across Eurasia hawks and falcons were seen as messengers between this world and the next." The role of hawks and falcons in Celtic myth and in British history, is a subtext of her book.

• The peregrine falcon has been a favorite of falconers for millennia, probably beginning in Mesopotamia and China. In Europe, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, king of Germany, Sicily and Italy and Holy Roman emperor, thought highly of the falcon and devoted much of his treatise "On the Art of Falconry" to peregrines. It was written before 1248.

Peregrine names

Not everyone thinks wild creatures should have names—but naming them makes them easier to keep track of, and tracking peregrines is an important part of understanding how they behave.

The falcons also are banded—twice. One is a silver band issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This bears a number, but it's not visible at a distance, so a second, colored band is added. Lettering and the color pattern are unique to each bird and allow it to be identified.

The names make it easier to remember the birds, an essential part of keeping track of them.

Names are arbitrary, but Tim Driscoll, responsible for banding the Grand Forks falcons, has adopted a naming protocol. He chooses names that have local significance.

For example, falcons have been named for outdoor enthusiasts such as state Sen. Stella Fritzell, a prominent conservation advocate, Frances Kannowski, longtime director of the Grand Forks Park Board, and Eve Freeberg, an enthusiastic local birder. Some are named for historical characters, such as Alexander, for Alexander Griggs, founder of the city, and Anson, for Anson Northrup, pioneer of steam boating on the Red River. Since the move to the UND campus, names from its history have been chosen, George for George Starcher, longtime UND president, and Lux and Lex for the twin virtues celebrated in the university's motto. Some names are whimsical, such as Smiley, named for the water tower where he was born, and some are personal, including Ansel, whom Driscoll named for his father.

Marv, the male of the current pair, was fledged in Fargo and named for a local broadcasting personality.

Terminator, raised in Brandon, Man., was named, presumably, for the peregrine's legendary hunting prowess.


http://www.grandforksherald.com/outdoors/3715273-always-season-peregrines-grand-forks-belong-amazing-story-recovery
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 23:53 by Alison »

Offline dupre501

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2015, 23:46 »
What a thorough article. Thanks for sharing that one Alison. :D
And a nice photo of Smiley as a juvenile.

Offline Alison

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2015, 23:37 »
Part III

Grand Forks Peregrine Timeline

Here is a look at the history of peregrines in Grand Forks, based on information from local raptor expert Tim Driscoll:

2005: An adult male spent the summer on the Smiley water tower. A box was placed on the east walkway of the tower in September.

2007: Bear, a male raised in Fargo, attempted to attract a mate. A female spent time at the tower, but no mating occurred.

2008: Bear and Terminator nested on the tower. Their only fledgling, Ozzie, was electrocuted on July 18.

2009: Bear didn't return, but another Fargo-raised male, Roosevelt, mated with Terminator. They fledged three young: Smiley, a male, and females named Alice and Ethel. Ethel was found dead on July 26. Alice was seen attempting to breed in Brandon, Man., in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, Smiley mated with a female named Princess. They raised two females on the Radisson Hotel in downtown Winnipeg. Smiley returned to the hotel earlier this year. In Grand Forks, the water tower called "Smiley" was demolished in the fall of 2009. The nest box was moved to UND's water tower about a mile farther west and on the north side of the BNSF tracks.

2010: Terminator and Roosevelt showed up at the new location where they raised three young—a male named Clifford and females named Lux and Lex. Their fates are not known.

2011: Terminator and Roosevelt came back for a third year together and fledged three young—a male named Ansel and females named Eve and Beverley. Eve was hurt in a fight over territory in St. Paul, received treatment at The Raptor Center there, and was released in Alexandria, Minn., in 2013. In 2014, she raised four young in Minneapolis.

2012: Terminator and Roosevelt were back and raised three young—males named Walsh and Alexander, and a female named Frances. Frances was found dead on Aug. 20. Walsh was seen in Sioux Falls, S.D., on April 20, 2014.

2013: Terminator showed up, but Roosevelt did not return. Instead, Terminator mated with an unbanded male, and they fledged three young—males named George and Anson and a female named Stella. Stella was found on the UND campus unable to fly. Later, George was found flightless near the city lagoon northwest of town. Both were treated at The Raptor Center, recovered and were released into the wild.

2014: Terminator returned—but she had to wait until late April for a mate, Marv, her fourth. He was a youngster, fledged in Fargo in 2013. Mating so young is unusual. Despite his youth and their late start, Terminator and Marv raised two young, females named Maya and Myra.

2015: Marv returned on March 9, Terminator on March 29. All indications are that they intend to raise another family in Grand Forks.

In total, peregrines have nested seven years in Grand Forks, laid 24 eggs and fledged 18 young. Three are known to be dead—Ozzie, Ethel and Frances. That means 15 peregrines fledged in Grand Forks may be living in the wild. Eight are females and seven are males. At least two of them have been seen attempting to attract mates, one in Brandon, Man., and one in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Two of the Grand Forks fledglings are known to be parents. Eve raised four young in Minneapolis, and Smiley raised two young in Winnipeg, both in 2014.

Of interest: Bear and Roosevelt, successive mates of Terminator, were brothers but not nest mates. They were sons of the same parents, named Dakota Ace and Frieda, but they were born in different years.

Grand Forks peregrines are migratory, usually arriving in March or early April and leaving in mid-September. It's not known exactly where they spend the winter. Peregrines from Fargo have been seen on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 23:43 by Alison »

Offline Alison

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2015, 23:30 »
Part II

GF joins effort

Grand Forks was a latecomer to this trend, partly because falcons here seemed such an unlikely prospect. The success of nesting falcons in Winnipeg stirred interest. So did news of falcons nesting in Fargo.

In 2005, an adult male peregrine showed up in Grand Forks. He hung around a water tower in the railroad yard near the intersection of Washington Street and DeMers Avenue, about as close as you can get to the heart of Grand Forks.

The water tower had a conical top, resembling a shortened dunce cap. A big smile and a winking eye were painted on the tower. It became a local landmark, known as "Smiley."

That fall, Tim Driscoll, who since has earned a reputation as a regional raptor expert, placed a nest box on the water tower. It wasn't occupied until 2007. An adult male reared in Fargo tried to attract a mate that summer. An unbanded female hung around, but no nesting occurred.

The male, named Bear, was luckier the next year, 2008. He attracted an adult female raised in Brandon, Man. Her name was Terminator.

The pair fledged one young bird, named Ozzie. Ozzie flew into a power line near the water tower and died.

Bear didn't show up in 2009, but Terminator attracted another male from Fargo. His name was Roosevelt. Three young were fledged that year, the last at that nest site.

Young peregrines have been fledged in Grand Forks every year since.

Smiley the water tower was demolished in the fall of 2009, and Driscoll moved the nest box to the UND tower.

Roosevelt and Terminator showed up there in 2011. Their ready acceptance of the new location was a bit of a surprise—a "neat trick," a raptor expert from the Twin Cities declared.

The pair had been seen on the tower the previous year though, and so it seemed worth the effort to move the box.

For falcons and falcon fanciers, it was the right thing to do.

Back again

This will be Terminator's eighth year in Grand Forks. Her current mate, Marv, is her fourth.

All in an unlikely place.

Terminator is old for a peregrine.

Her behavior is expected, though. Peregrines are more loyal to place than to partner, so it is not surprising she has accepted four different males in her parenting career.

Nor is her continued preference for an urban location a surprise. Peregrines habitually return to sites similar to those that produced them.

Once scientists established urban populations, they began to grow—and probably will continue to grow.

Likely there are other potential nesting sites in the Red River Valley. All peregrines really need is a site with a view and plenty of food. For peregrines, food is almost exclusively birds, ranging in size from starlings to ducks. Pigeons seem to be a staple; Driscoll has collected peregrine kills, and pigeon remains make up about a fourth of the sample size.

Grand Forks isn't short of pigeons—at least not yet.

Driscoll wonders if the city could support a second pair of peregrines, and he's considered putting up another nest box—probably in East Grand Forks, his home town.

In Minnesota, Crookston might also support a pair of peregrines. Thief River Falls is another possibility.

Devils Lake is still another potential peregrine town. Minot, as well. Perhaps a pair could be induced to nest on the state Capitol tower, the tallest building in the state.

The falcon rescue effort led to reclassifying the peregrine. It had been considered endangered. In 1999, it was removed from the endangered species list.

The successful recovery of the peregrine was a conservation triumph, and the bird has become a symbol of conservation efforts worldwide.

The recovery effort brought peregrines into our lives right here in River City.


Offline Alison

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2015, 23:24 »
There is a new article about the Grand Forks peregrines in the Grand Forks Herald today.

Part I

Always in Season: Peregrines in Grand Forks belong to an amazing story of recovery

By Mike Jacobs



Smiley perched on top of the Xcel Energy Building in Grand Forks, 2009.
Photo by Dave Lambeth.

Peregrine falcons are amazing birds, and perhaps the most amazing thing about them is they nest right here in River City, Grand Forks, N.D., U.S.A.

In Fargo, U.S.A., too.

Also in Winnipeg in Canada.

These places had not been considered prime peregrine habitat.

In fact, there are only a few nesting records for North Dakota, and all of them are from the western part of the state.

In Minnesota, peregrines historically nested along the Mississippi River bluffs and the cliffs of Lake Superior.

In Manitoba, they were found along the north end of Lake Winnipeg and Hudson Bay.

All of these places are quite far from the Red River Valley.

Peregrines didn't nest in the valley for a very good reason. They are cliff dwellers, and except for an occasional mud bank along the Red River itself, the valley doesn't have any naturally occurring cliffs.

Lately, it has acquired some artificial cliffs, of sorts, on high-rise buildings and other manmade structures.

In Winnipeg, peregrines nest on the Radisson Hotel tower downtown, among other places, and in Fargo, they nest on an office building.

Their Grand Forks nest sites have been on water towers.

Fantastic story

How the peregrines got here is a fantastic story, which has a beginning as improbable as its current chapter.

It begins with an insecticide.

In 1939, a Swiss chemist discovered that DDT could kill insects. So effective was the chemical that the chemist won the Nobel Prize in 1948. Just 14 years later, Rachel Carson published "Silent Spring." DDT, Carson surmised, killed wild birds, including falcons and eagles.

She was right.

The chemical accumulated in the environment. Apex predators were especially vulnerable because they took in large amounts of the chemical in the prey they ate.

Chemicals in DDT caused thinning of egg shells. The eggs didn't hatch. By 1970, peregrine falcons had disappeared from the eastern United States. A few pairs survived in the West.

The Arctic population remained fairly stable, but even there, birds were contaminated by food they picked up on their winter ranges.

DDT was banned in the United States in 1972.

The Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, and the peregrine was added to the list of species at risk of extinction.

Scientists and falcon fanciers launched an effort to save the peregrines.

This involved capturing wild birds, stealing and fostering falcon eggs, milking males for semen, artificially inseminating females, raising captive birds and a process adopted from falconry called "hacking." Essentially, peregrine chicks were reared in boxes, then guided to life as wild birds.

Eventually, peregrines were returned to nests in the wild.

They also were encouraged to nest in cities.

Urban falcons were not entirely unknown. Wintering falcons sometimes showed up in East Coast cities, including Boston, New York and Philadelphia. During World War II, a pair nested in Montreal.

But urban nests were certainly exceptions.

Falcon enthusiasts considered the idea worth trying though, and by 1980, nest boxes were in place in cities along the East Coast. Minneapolis wasn't far behind.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 23:26 by Alison »

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2015, 21:58 »
She is, indeed, a beauty! :D

Offline Alison

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2015, 15:37 »
From the article posted above from the Grand Forks Herald, this is the great photograph of Terminator taken by Tim Driscoll.

She is a beauty:



Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2015, 19:50 »
So North Dakota has one of our Manitoba birds and we have one of theirs.  Cool.

We also have a Minneapolis bird (Princess) and they have a Manitoba bird (Juliet).  Or at least they did last year but I haven't heard if she has returned this year.

And of course, Annie from West Winnipeg is in Fargo and we have Jolicoeur who is the daughter of Annie's predecessor Dakota Ace.

Offline dupre501

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 12:44 »
Since Smiley is one of Terminator's kids, and Terminator is Manitoba born, I would say that Smiley is just returning to his roots. :)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 12:47 by dupre501 »

Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2015, 08:26 »
So North Dakota has one of our Manitoba birds and we have one of theirs.  Cool.

Offline Alison

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2015, 00:23 »
From the Grand Forks Herald today:

Grand Forks peregrines gear up to mate

By Brad Dokken

Life atop the UND water tower is back in the spring swing with the return of a peregrine falcon pair that is getting ready to mate in a nesting box on the structure.

Grand Forks raptor expert Tim Driscoll said Marv, a 2-year-old male, returned March 9, and had been hanging out waiting for his much-older partner, Terminator, to fly into town.

Driscoll and Grand Forks birding authority Dave Lambeth both spotted the female Sunday morning. The bands on the falcons' legs confirm their identities, Driscoll said.

Terminator was hatched in 2006 in Brandon, Man., and has been nesting on Grand Forks water towers since 2008. Driscoll banded Marv in June 2013 in Fargo when the falcon was just a fledgling.

It's unusual for male falcons to mate as 1 year olds, which Marv did last year, Driscoll said, but Terminator's mate in 2013 never returned last spring, and that created an opening.

Peregrines go their separate ways during migration but tend to return to the same nesting sites every year.

"It's tough for them to pull it off that first year," Driscoll said. "They're just figuring out their way, and they've got stiff competition from older, more savvy, more experienced males, so they're looking for an opening like a death, which I think is what happened with Marv."

Named after Fargo TV anchor Marv Bossart, who died in 2013, Marv is Terminator's fourth mate. Her previous mate wasn't banded, Driscoll said, and he never returned last spring.

Early start

Driscoll said the peregrines are ahead of schedule — especially compared with last year, when Terminator didn't arrive until April 6, and Marv first made his bid for her affections April 21.

"This is great — they're early," Driscoll said. "You can tell they've both been in that tower. They're settled in. I'm thrilled with the fact. They're easily three weeks earlier than last year."

By comparison, Terminator first was sighted in Grand Forks April 9, 2008, with subsequent first sightings April 10, 2009; March 27, 2010; April 7 or 8, 2012: March 26, 2012; March 26, 2013; and April 6, 2014.

Typically, Driscoll said, peregrines begin laying eggs the first week in May and produce three young. Despite last year's late start, Driscoll said Terminator was laying eggs about May 5.

Marv and Terminator only had two chicks last year because one egg didn't hatch.

Driscoll said the peregrines were engaging in obvious courtship displays Sunday.

"He was pretty excited," Driscoll said of Marv's reaction to Terminator's arrival. "He was antsy as heck.

"Maybe they'll just hang out for a week or so; time will tell. I'd be stunned they haven't laid eggs by the first of May."

Canada connection

In related peregrine news, Driscoll said he learned last week that Smiley, a male peregrine hatched in 2009 in Grand Forks and named after the Smiley water tower torn down in 2009, has been mating in Winnipeg and last year fathered two chicks hatched atop the Radisson Hotel on Portage Avenue downtown. His mate, Princess, is four years older, and was hatched in Minneapolis.

Both birds have leg bands to confirm their identities.

According to the Midwest Peregrine Falcon Restoration Project's website, peregrines have been on the rebound since the 1980s after being decimated by pesticide use in the 1950s and 1960s. The first Midwest release was in 1982, and Grand Forks and Fargo have the only known nesting peregrines in North Dakota. Minnesota has more than 50 nesting sites across the state, the Department of Natural Resources said.


http://www.grandforksherald.com/outdoors/3711215-grand-forks-peregrines-gear-mate

The article also has a new photo of Terminator.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2015, 10:45 »
Went to read the article but can't read it without a subscription to the paper.  >:(

More and more newspapers are starting to do this - even our Winnipeg Free Press with some of their stories.  I'm trying to get copies of stories when I can and will be saving copies as pdfs and will make the links available.  I've got a call into the folks at the Grand Forks Herald about a couple of other stories from last year - will let you know how successful I am.  Hate to have to spend about $10USD (with the current exchange rate) for one month access to get the stories but it may come to that.

Offline Alison

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Re: UND Tower - 2015 / ? & ?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2015, 10:20 »
Apparently there will be a news story about the peregrines in Grand Forks in the next couple of weeks, so I went snooping to see what else I could find that I might have missed at the end of last year ... and I found this :)

http://www.grandforksherald.com/content/video-high-altitude-housecleaning-atop-und-water-tower
Went to read the article but can't read it without a subscription to the paper.  >:(