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Published April 30, 2010, 09:55 PM

Peregrine Falcons Return To Grand Forks

Smiley may be gone, but that's not the case for the pair of peregrine falcons that used to call the iconic water tower home.

By: Renee Chmiel, WDAZ

Smiley may be gone, but that's not the case for the pair of peregrine falcons that used to call the iconic water tower home. Those same two falcons have returned to Grand Forks, and have found a new place to nest.

The falcons are now living in the water tower on the UND campus. And if you happen to be driving on the nearby bridge on Columbia Road, you may just get a glimpse of them.

Although they lost their home last year with the demolition of Smiley, that hasn't stopped Roosevelt and Terminator, two peregrine falcons, from returning to Grand Forks. Their new home is only about a mile away.

"They knew about this tower for one thing, because we know that they used this as a place to hang out when they weren't down at Smiley," said retired UND professor David Lambeth.

The birds were out and about at the new hangout today. And now that they're back for the warmer months, they will have a busy summer ahead of them.

"We have a nesting attempt underway. In fact, she may be starting incubation of the eggs about now," said Lambeth.

Terminator will likely lay three or four eggs. The eggs will take about thirty days to hatch, and the young should be able to fly by mid-July. The birds are one of only two known pairs of peregrine falcons in the state of North Dakota. They are the only known ones in the City of Grand Forks, and there's one known pair of falcons in the City of Fargo.

"They're quite territorial. They're defending their hunting space and probably defending the area around the tower," said Lambeth.

Although they are rare in North Dakota, Lambeth says they are common in Minnesota, especially in the Twin Cities.

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