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Published April 08 2012

Female peregrine falcon returns to Fargo without mate

FARGO – With the calendar turning to April, many seasonal birds have started their migration back to the area.

One of those – the peregrine falcon – has already returned. Wickham Corwin, a district judge and local falcon enthusiast, said a female that was spotted on March 11 is likely Miracle, a falcon who has nested outside the 12th floor of the Bank of the West building in downtown Fargo since 2008.

But there’s been no sign of the male falcon named Dakota Ace.

Dakota Ace has been Miracle’s mating partner in the past and has visited the Fargo area since 2000.

Because Dakota Ace is nearly 15 years old, Corwin said, he possibly didn’t survive the winter.

Corwin said there’s still a small chance Dakota Ace could appear this spring, “but with each day, there’s less room for optimism.”

If Dakota Ace doesn’t show up, the biggest question for falcon enthusiasts is whether another male will take his place.

Because the nesting site in Fargo has proven to be a success, Corwin said, and because there are likely male falcons in the Midwest without a mate or a nest, it’s possible a new male could arrive to make Fargo his home.

In fact, Corwin said in an email on Thursday that a second falcon, possibly a male, has been spotted in the area. Its gender hasn’t officially been identified yet.

Regardless, Corwin’s optimistic that at some point, even if not this year, the nest will again be the home for baby falcons.

“I think there’s a good chance down the road that we’ll still have peregrines in Fargo,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535