Falcons to be banded by ODNR

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

It will be the opportunity to get a better view of some of the area’s most elusive citizens.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife will visit Ironton May 31 to band the baby falcons living underneath the Ironton-Russell Bridge. The public is invited to watch.

“One of our biologists will go into the next and retrieve the chicks and take vital measurements. Then we will be banding the birds, putting metal leg bands on them and then putting them back into the nest,” Susan Matthews, wildlife communications specialist, said. “This will be an up-close-and-personal look at the chicks. It’s pretty exciting.”

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Matthews said the whole process should take 45 minutes. It will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the small park on the Russell, Ky., side of the bridge.

Parent falcons are known to be protective of their young. Matthews said personnel will be on hand to detain the mother bird if necessary.

Typically, peregrine falcons lay eggs in March and they hatch in April. Once the young learn to fly, they will stay in the area until mid-summer.

As one of the fastest birds in the world, peregrine falcons can dive at speeds of nearly 200 miles per hour. Each bird has a three to three and a half foot wing span. They typically weigh less than two pounds, but grow to be 15 to 21 inches in height.