Wood County Courthouse Home to Peregrine Falcons
For the past three years, a pair of peregrine falcons has made the Wood County Courthouse its home. And each year they’ve nested in the clock tower on the north side of the courthouse and hatched baby falcons – so far all female.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division bands the baby falcons – typically when they are around 20 days old – so they can be tracked and monitored throughout their lives.
This year there were two babies born. ODNR employees said their parents chose the courthouse because of its height.
“They need that height, and this is one of the tallest structures in the city so it was an optimal place for them to nest,” said Bob Ford with ODNR Wildlife District Two. “They hunt from the air, and they eat other birds, so usually when they are hunting they are in flight, so they need a lot of room to be able to hunt.”
The court administrator said the falcons have become a mascot for court employees – not to be mistaken with the Bowling Green State University Falcons just down the street.
“It’s been difficult this year because the falcons laid their eggs out of the view of the camera, but in previous years you could watch them every day from laying the eggs, to the hatching to them starting to move around, so employees have really enjoyed it,” Kalmar said.
These baby falcons will stay until August or September before they search for a home of their own. There are currently 26 nesting pairs in Ohio. Ford said that’s a huge improvement from when peregrine falcons were considered endangered in Ohio.
“It’s a wildlife success story,” Ford said.
There’s also a nesting box at the courthouse in Ottawa, but Ford said so far there is no nesting activity. The peregrine falcon project is funded through the Tax Check-Off program and those who buy ODNR Legacy Stamps.