Peregrine hatch observed atop UND water tower

Everything appears to be on schedule for the peregrine falcons nesting atop the UND water tower.

Tim Driscoll, the Grand Forks raptor expert who monitors the birds, said at least one baby peregrine has hatched, based on the behavior of the mother, Terminator, and Marv, a male peregrine hatched last spring in Fargo. Marv showed up in Grand Forks this spring to mate with the older female.

The timing of the hatch is consistent with when Terminator laid her eggs, Driscoll said. Because the nest is some 100 feet up the tower, it’s difficult to observe much from the ground, Driscoll said, especially on rainy days such as Wednesday.

“We’ll know more in a week or so,” Driscoll said.

Terminator, hatched in 2006 in Brandon, Man., has been nesting in Grand Forks since 2008.


Red River boat ramps to reopen in GF

This spring hasn’t been conducive to catfishing on the Red River (so far), and the ramps in Grand Forks already have closed once because of flooding.

But they’re scheduled to reopen today, now that the Red has dropped below flood stage of 28 feet. The river does remain out of its banks.

The Greenway sent out an update on the ramps this afternoon, saying city crews will monitor the ramps for silt and other debris as river levels continue to drop. Lower trails in the Greenway remain closed because of the high water, but the upper trails and dog park in Lincoln Drive Park remain open.

The Red in Grand Forks was at 27.33 feet as of 1:30 p.m. today. High water usually means good fishing once conditions straighten out so let’s hope that’s the case as the river drops and water temperatures rise.

Raptor expert observes GF peregrines mating

Well, it looks as if Grand Forks will be doing its part to add to the recovering peregrine falcon population.

Marv, a year-old peregrine banded as a hatchling last spring in Fargo, first was observed early last week atop the UND water tower. Grand Forks birder Dave Lambeth used a zoom lens to take this photo.

A year-old male dubbed “Marv” when he was banded last spring in Fargo showed up at the UND water tower about 10 days ago to court “Terminator,” a female peregrine that has nested in Grand Forks since 2008.

Terminator was hatched in 2006 in Brandon, Man., and showed up in Grand Forks as a 2-year-old.

Despite their age difference and the fact male peregrines don’t always mate their first year, Terminator was showing signs of accepting Marv from the get-go.

Now, the pair has copulated.

Tim Driscoll, a Grand Forks raptor expert who teaches a class in raptor ecology at the University of Minnesota-Crookston, said he observed Marv copulating with Terminator late Tuesday afternoon. Driscoll banded Marv last spring.

“Although a few weeks late, this is great news,” Driscoll said in an email. “Hopefully, Terminator will start laying eggs within a few days.”

Driscoll said the female falcon in Fargo, which has the only other known peregrine nest in North Dakota, laid her first egg April 16.

“If Terminator starts laying eggs within the next week we will be about three weeks behind Fargo,” Driscoll said. “We are normally about two weeks later.”

In other words, so far, so good.