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Michelle Rydell, Published August 13 2008

Peregrine falcon rescued from inside 40-foot-tall sign atop The Forum building

FARGO - One of Fargo’s three baby peregrine falcons was saved today after a Forum maintenance manager found it stuck in the newspaper’s 40-foot vertical sign on the roof of the downtown building.

The female bird, identified by its band numbers as Audrey Jean, squawked and nervously flew around the inside of the vertical column on which The Forum sign is affixed, while two Fargo employees tried to coax it near the opening.

The bird was found stuck in the sign Tuesday morning, when Maintenance Manager Dave Shasky was replacing lights in the sign. Shasky and Forum pilot Keith Corliss crawled into the sign Wednesday morning and worked for nearly an hour to free the bird.

After finding its way out the hole created atop the column, the bird flew up 13 stories and perched atop the Radisson Hotel Fargo on 5th Street. Corliss said there were no visible injuries on the bird.

The three young peregrine falcons – a species that was nearly extinct 30 years ago – were born in a manmade nest near the top of the 12-story Bank of the West building in downtown Fargo.

That site has produced 24 peregrines since 2001.