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An annual ritual for GF peregrines - This year’s brood of falcon chicks get tracking bands

Two peregrine falcon chicks were banded Thursday, July 3, 2014, in Grand Forks, N.D. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)1 / 12
An unhatched falcon egg was discovered in the nest of the birds on top of the UND water tower. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)2 / 12
Tim Driscoll weighs, bands, and draws blood from both chicks. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)3 / 12
Spectators photograph and inspect one of the baby peregrine falcons up close. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)4 / 12
Tim Driscoll weighs, bands, and draws blood from both chicks. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)5 / 12
Raptor expert and researcher Tim Driscoll bands one of two peregrine falcon chicks Thursday in Grand Forks. The chicks hatched 23 days earlier on top of the UND water tower. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)6 / 12
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Spectators watch as climbers secure two baby peregrine falcons that had hatched 23 days prior on top of the UND water tower Thursday in Grand Forks. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)8 / 12
The mother peregrine falcon, screeching in an attempt to protect her babies, circles above head. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)9 / 12
Grand Forks residents Lucas Holweger, 5, his grandfather Jim Hanley, and family friend Dave Lambeth watch as climbers secure two baby peregrine falcons that had hatched 23 days prior on top of the UND water tower Thursday in Grand Forks. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)10 / 12
Nick Kludt clilmbs the tower as the mother peregrine falcon, screeching in an attempt to protect her babies, circles above head. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)11 / 12
UND grad student Nick Kludt stands in front of the UND water tower just prior to climbing up the structure to collect two baby peregrine falcons for tagging and research. (Luke Franke/Grand Forks Herald)12 / 12

“Ok, I’m going to show her around to everybody once and then she’s going back home,” he said.

The group gathered to watch climbers climb UND’s water tower, home to one of two peregrine-falcon nests in the state.

The two recently-hatched chicks from the UND tower were brought down in a small kennel so Driscolls and other bird experts can determine their gender, put bands on them so they can be tracked throughout their lives and take a blood sample.

The chicks squawked loudly as everyone watched Driscoll take measurements.

“I should have named this one ‘Quiet’,” Driscoll joked with the crowd.

This is the seventh year Driscoll has been tracking the once endangered birds. He names them each year after prominent Grand Forks residents and other important people.

This year’s chicks were named Maya, after the recently deceased poet Maya Angelou, and Myra, after North Dakota pioneer John Myra.

The proud parents are Terminator, a female from Canada who has nested frequently in the area over the last few years, and Marv, a first-time father from the Fargo area.

Nathan Reitan and Nick Kludt were the climbers charged with collecting the birds and while Marv didn’t make an appearance, Terminator wasn’t happy about their presence.

“She was kind of dive-bombing us,” Reitan said, laughing as he climbed back down the water tower.

Anna Burleson

Anna Burleson is the higher education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of South Dakota's Mass Communication program and is originally from Watertown, S.D. Contact her with story ideas or tips by phone, email or Twitter, all of which are listed below. Examples of her work can be accessed here.

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