By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer
NORTH BEND - Two newly hatched peregrine falcons received their birth certificates Monday, 450 feet above the ground on a CG&E smokestack.
One squawked, the other kept quiet as wildlife biologists Dave Scott and Rick Jasper of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources banded and blood-tested them.
Peregrine falcons, which were nearly wiped out by the use of pesticides by the 1970s, are still on the endangered species list in Ohio, but not nationally.
To ensure their survival, naturalists have introduced peregrines to urban centers and other unusual spots - such as smokestacks.
"We have been successful in getting them to lay eggs in the smokestacks because we simulate mountain conditions with rocks and sands," said Jasper.
This is the fourth consecutive year the falcons' mother, Mary Ellen, has returned and laid eggs at the Miami Fort Station near the village of North Bend, said Kathy Meinke, Cinergy spokeswoman.
The two young female falcons, which hatched April 23 or 24, have not been named.
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