COLUMBUS — The 2011 peregrine falcon nesting season is under way in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.
There are peregrine pairs at 30 to possibly 38 sites and eggs are being incubated at three sites in the state — Cleveland, Ironton and Lakewood.
By April, most of Ohio’s adult breeding peregrine falcons will have paired with a mate and selected a nesting site. Internet users can follow the progress of these and other peregrine nests at the Division of Wildlife’s peregrine falcon Web page at wildohio.com.
As the nesting season progresses, key events such as egg laying, hatching and fledging will be noted for each nest.
Because of successful restoration activities in Ohio and across the nation, the peregrine falcon was removed from the federal endangered species list in 1999, and in Ohio it was down-listed from endangered to state-threatened in 2008.
Ohio began reintroducing the birds in 1989, along with several other Midwestern states. Several pairs were released in Ohio’s major cities between 1989 and 1992.
Last year, 34 nesting pairs of peregrine falcons are estimated to have successfully hatched and fledged 67 young. Federal funds for the peregrine falcon project and other wildlife diversity efforts of the Division of Wildlife are provided through the state Wildlife Grant Program, which targets species with greatest conservation need.
The division’s peregrine falcon management program has been supported by the sale of cardinal license plates, the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp and contributions to the state Wildlife Diversity & Endangered Species Check-off Fund.
Taxpayers may donate directly or designate all or part of their state income tax refunds to the effort by checking the box on line 25b of the 2010 Ohio Income Tax Form, or line 18b on the Ohio1040 EZ form.
Individuals wanting to donate can do so online at wildohio.com.