Peregrine Falcons

Falcons nest and hatch at Zimmer Station

In 2008, peregrine falcons nested and hatched three eggs at Duke Energy’s Zimmer Station in Moscow, Ohio, for the first time. First spotted at the station in mid-March, the banded male and female 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. In May 2008, representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife came to the station to band the young and to take blood samples. The falcons were fitted with a band on each leg. One band contains a national serial number used for tracking purposes. A second two-color band is used to easily identify the falcon from a distance. The blood samples will be used for genetic identification and research.

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. They 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.

View a slideshow of the falcons 

To learn more about the falcons, visit Ohio's Peregrine Falcons on the ODNR Division of Wildlife's website.

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