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Raptor expert observes Grand Forks peregrines mating

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.

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

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.

Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken is a reporter and editor of the Herald's Sunday Northland Outdoors pages. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University. 

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