Peregrine Falcons Nest and Hatch Eggs at Duke Energy's Zimmer Station May 27, 2008
For the first time, Peregrine Falcons have nested and hatched three eggs at Duke Energy’s Zimmer Station in Moscow, Ohio. The banded male and female were first spotted at the station in mid-March. The pair built a nest 50 feet off the ground on top of one of the dewatering buildings.
“We are all quite excited that our years of patience have finally paid off and all the eggs successfully hatched this year,” said Joe Miller, Zimmer Station plant manager. “Everyone at the plant is proud to know that our efforts will help to increase the number of endangered peregrines in the Midwest.”
The first Peregrine Falcon nest box was installed at the station in 1999 on an old reactor building roof, but no falcons nested on the plant grounds until this year. Based on the banding information on the falcons, the male was hatched in 2002 in Annapolis, Md., and the female hatched in 2006 in Cobb Island, Va.
For more than 10 years, a pair of peregrines have nested at Miami Fort Station in Cleves, Ohio. The same pair returned again this year, but the eggs laid in early spring did not hatch. Another pair of peregrines were spotted for the first time at East Bend Station in Union, Ky., but they did not lay any eggs.
As the young grow, they will nearly double their size from day to day. On May 30, representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife will be at the station to band the young and to take blood samples. The falcons will be fitted with a band on each leg. One band contains a national serial number used for tracking purposes. The second band, normally used to identify the falcon, is a two-colored band with a single large alphanumeric code on each color that can be easily seen from a distance.
The blood samples will be used for genetic identification and research. The samples and data are stored in a central databank in Minnesota with information about Peregrine Falcons from other Midwest locations.
Around June 15th, the young will have the appearance of an adult peregrine and will learn how to fly and hunt.
Peregrine Falcons are one of the fastest creatures on earth, having been clocked at over 200 miles per hour as they dive for their prey. The female falcon is the larger of the sexes measuring 18 to 20 inches in length from beak to tail, having a 37- to 40-inch wingspan and weighing 1.6 to 2.4 pounds. Males, on the other hand, are 16 to 18 inches in length, have a 31- to 35-inch wingspan and weigh 1 to 1.5 pounds.
Peregrines prefer a habitat with tall cliffs that provide a clear view of the surroundings for hunting. A nearby source of water also helps to attract small prey for the birds to feed. The tall building at Zimmer Station and location on the Ohio River provide an ideal nesting site for the birds.
Duke Energy’s Ohio operations deliver safe, reliable and competitively priced electricity to approximately 687,000 electric customers and natural gas service to approximately 424,000 customers.
Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, supplies and delivers energy to approximately 4 million U.S. customers. The company has approximately 35,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the Midwest and the Carolinas, and natural gas distribution services in Ohio and Kentucky. In addition, Duke Energy has more than 4,000 megawatts of electric generation in Latin America, and is a joint-venture partner in a U.S. real estate company.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.
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