Marilyn Hagerty: With the weather slowly warming, the birds make their return

The birds are coming back. And Tim Driscoll, local bird watching expert, says there is no telling where the bird named Marilyn is.

Marilyn Hagerty

The weekend arrives with Palm Sunday services scheduled and the Easter Bunny making plans for a grand entry next week. Life goes on under the cloud of coronavirus.

The birds are coming back. And Tim Driscoll, local bird watching expert, says there is no telling where the bird named Marilyn is.

She was banded in 2016 by Driscoll; in 2018, she found a mate, Sundance, in Winnipeg. She showed up last year in Manitoba but Driscoll isn’t certain whether she’s alive this year, although she could show up anytime.

Who knows?

Driscoll says Marv is back at the UND water tower for the eighth year. “So far, so good,” he said. Marv now has a mate who should start laying eggs. And then there should be more peregrine falcons.


You wonder how peregrines can nest and mate with all the commotion of construction around the water tower. But Driscoll says Marv keeps coming back. He says birds get used to the noise. They don’t seem to mind being near the railroad tracks.

Looking back, Driscoll says Marilyn was hatched and comfortable in 2016 atop the UND water tower. A former statistics instructor at UND, Driscoll has worked for years with falcon chicks. He said when Marilyn was hatched he could tell she was a girl. She was much larger than her brothers. Her body, covered with fluffy white and black feathers, was about the size of a softball. She weighed 920 grams. Her brothers weighed in at around 630 grams.

Two of Driscoll’s friends scaled the ladder to reach the nest.

Ask Marilyn

Q. When will they be playing pickleball outside again at O’Leary Park in East Grand Forks?

A. Veronica Whitehead says the group will be transitioning soon to O’Leary Park where they were playing last summer. The pickleball games, formerly at the Hyslop at UND, have been indoors at Holy Family gymnasium during the cold weather. The group welcomes players who show up and sign in. And there is information online. While they think in terms of moving on in May, pickleball players probably will swarm the outdoor site as soon as the weather warrants.

Q. Who is the new Grand Cities pickleball president?

A. Steve Scholand.

Q. How do you say, “The Lord is My Light” in Latin?


A. Dominus illumination mea.

Q. What does it mean if you say, “ Vere, latinam non est loqui dificilissimum.’’

A. Really, it isn’t that hard to speak Latin.

Merrilee and Dana

Cheerful people of the week: Merrilee Brown and Dana Sande.

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