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Peregrine Falcons Incubating at Sites Around Portland

by Bob Sallinger

kgw.com

Posted on April 5, 2009 at 9:52 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:39 PM

Marquam Fledgling release  6-14-08 070.jpg
Peregrine Falcon Fledgling Learning to Fly Beneath Marquam Bridge 2008

Red-tailed hawks are just one of several raptor species that nest in Portland. Portland is also home to a significant populations of peregrine falcons. Peregrines are the fastest animals on earth diving at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. Peregrines were nearly wiped out by use of the pesticide DDT during the 1940's, 50's and 60's. The DDT caused them to lay eggs with thin eggshells which cracked during incubation. By 1070 peregrines had disappeared entirely from Oregon. Nearly 40 years of intensive effort has allowed this species to recover. Peregrines were listed under the Endangered Species Act from 1973-1999. Peregrines typically nest on cliffs, but will also use tall man-made structures such as buildings and bridges. Today there are approximately 140 known peregrine nest sites in Oregon and about 5% of those occur in Portland. Peregrines nest in the Interstate 5 Bridge, Saint Johns Bridge, Fremont Bridge and Marquam Bridge as well as several other Portland locations. A great place to watch peregrines is near the Marquam Bridge along the Springwater Trail between OMSI and the River. Most Portland peregrines are incubating eggs right now and are about a month behind the Raptor Cam red-tails. A lot of work still goes into protecting this once endangered species to ensure that populations remain healthy.Audubon actively monitors every site in the Portland Metro Area.

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